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(Image by: City of Sacramento)
On Friday morning, March 2, 2012, after a meeting with leadership of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community concerning gay rights issues, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson joined a growing list of over 175 other mayors and municipal leaders, including West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon who signed early in the campaign, representing 32 states across the country, standing up publicly for marriage equality.
“Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” are a broad-based and nonpartisan group of mayors who believe “all people should be able to share in the love and commitment of marriage”. Though it took a while for Mayor Johnson to agree to sign the statement, in the end the mayor decided it is the right thing to do for LGBT citizens of Sacramento.
Leading a petition drive for Mayor Johnson’s participation was the Sacramento Stonewall Democrats. Over 350 people signed the petition which was personally presented to Mayor Johnson by Stonewall Democrat’s Board President, Sam Catalano and communications director, Neil Pople.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Equality Action NOW, a grassroots civil rights organization based in Sacramento, several letters were sent back and forth between the mayor’s office explaining that marriage equality “is not a religious issue, but a civil issue that affects many Sacramento citizens as well as their families and allies”. Marriage Equality USA, a statewide group based in San Francisco also used their influence to help encourage Mayor Johnson to stand on the right side of civil rights and equality.
In part, the statement reads, “As mayors of great American cities, we proudly stand together in support of the freedom of same-sex couples to marry. We personally know many gay and lesbian people living in our cities who are committed, loving relationships, who are active participants in the civic life of our communities, and who deserve to be able to marry the person with whom they share their life.”
“Our cities derive great strength from their diversity, and gay and lesbian families are a crucial part.”
“We stand for the freedom to marry because it enhances the economic competitiveness of our communities, improves the lives of families that call our cities home, and is simply the right thing to do. We look forward to working to build an America where all people can share in the love and commitment of marriage with the person with whom they share their life.” -
Image by: Uptown Studios
“It is a great day when we can work through our differences and personal beliefs to come to an agreement that marriage equality is a civil rights issue that harms no one, and actually enriches all citizens.” – Ken Pierce, President of the Board of Directors, Equality Action NOW.
To view the entire “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” statement, click HERE.