Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Welcomes New Members As We Move Toward 300!

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is proud to welcome 19 new mayors to our coalition. These new coalition members understand, as we do, that discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations against LGBT people is wrong. With the addition of these new members, out total membership is gaining momentum to take us even closer to 300 total mayors from 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Join us in welcoming our new coalition members!

  • Mayor Don Hammond, Nyack, NY
  • Mayor Joyce Craig, Manchester, NH
  • Mayor Lauren Poe, Gainesvile, FL
  • Mayor Hyrum Johnson, Driggs, ID
  • Mayor Mike Huether, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Mayor Steve Schewel, Durham, NC
  • Mayor Melanie Hammet, Pine Lakes, GA
  • Mayor Thomas McNamara, Rockford, IL
  • Mayor Cassie Franklin, Everett, WA
  • Mayor Darcy Paul, Cupertino, CA
  • Mayor Cory Mason, Racine, WI
  • Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle, WA
  • Mayor Paul Heroux, Attleboro, MA
  • Mayor Cynthia Andrus, Bozeman, MT
  • Mayor Lenny Siegel, Mountain View, CA
  • Mayor Victoria Woodards, Tacoma, WA
  • Mayor Larry Schroeder, Claremont, CA
  • Mayor Jacob Frey, Minneapolis, MN
  • Mayor Robert Moon, Palm Springs, CA
  • Mayor Don Hahn, State College, PA

Click here to view all members of the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition.

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Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Welcomes First South Dakota Mayor to the Coalition

January 25, 2018 by admin

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is excited to announce that Mayor Mike Huether of Sioux Falls has become South Dakota’s first mayor to join the bipartisan coalition of mayors who support LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections, taking us to nearly 300 mayors in 48 states and the District of Columbia who have signed a pledge supporting comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

 

Mayor Huether said:

“Protecting people equally and fighting against discrimination are American values, South Dakota values, and yes Sioux Falls values. We have made gains in this effort, but we also have more work to do to ensure equal treatment for all people living in and visiting our great city.”

More than 200 cities and 18 states have already passed comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in housing, employment, and public accommodations. Currently, neither Sioux Falls nor the state of South Dakota have these protections in place.

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is proud to welcome Mayor Mike Huether to our bipartisan coalition, and we hope other South Dakota mayors will soon follow suit.

To view our entire coalition, click here.

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On 1-Year Anniversary, Mayors Gather in Person to Discuss 2018 Plans and Reflect on Year of Momentum

January 25, 2018 by admin

Today, January 25, dozens of members of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination gathered in Washington, D.C. for the 2018 Meeting of the coalition, which coincides with the coalition’s 1-year anniversary and the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting.

The meeting this morning took place at Holland & Knight in Washington, D.C. For more than a year Holland & Knight has been a tremendous partner in the work to elevate voices of the many mayors nationwide who support full equal treatment for LGBTQ Americans. The event included several experts providing policy and litigation updates on issues affecting the LGBT community, including the impacts of the Trump Administration’s policies, local legislative developments, and the potential effects of litigation pending before federal courts, including the possible outcomes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

(L-R): Freedom for All Americans Senior Director of Public Education Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney; Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn of College Park, MD, Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit, MI, and Mayor Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento, CA; Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle, WA with Mayor Duggan of Detroit; the panel at the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination meeting.

Speakers included Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, PA and Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle, WA, the latest mayor to become a co-chair of the coalition. Mayor Durkan is the first openly lesbian mayor of Seattle and the first woman to be elected mayor in nearly 100 years.

A short panel discussion was hosted by Freedom for All Americans CEO Masen Davis, and additional policy updates were delivered by GLSEN State and District Policy Manager Sarah Munshi, and ACLU Director of Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief Daniel Mach. Participants also observed a moment of silence for former mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee, founder and co-chair of the coalition who passed away in December.

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is a first-of-its-kind nonpartisan coalition that launched in January 2017. Since its inception, mayors have participated in three in-person briefings; published press statements and op-eds in support of LGBT nondiscrimination protections in places such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Texas, and nationwide; signed onto friend-of-the-court briefs in key court cases such as the Masterpiece Cakeshop case pending before the Supreme Court, and taken additional actions to advance equal treatment. The coalition is a program of Freedom for All Americans, the campaign to win comprehensive LGBT nondiscrimination protections nationwide. For the full list of participating mayors, visit www.mayorsagainstlgbtdiscrimination.org.

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Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Celebrates One Year Anniversary

January 19, 2018 by admin

This week Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, the national coalition of mayors who support comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, celebrates the one-year anniversary of its official launch.

In its first year the coalition took several significant steps in addressing the issue of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, and made local, statewide, and national strides in lending their support to causes championing fairness and equality for all.

Here’s a recap of some of the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination accomplishments in 2017:

Launching a Robust Coalition of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination:

On January 13 of 2017, Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination officially launched during the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC, with over 150+ mayors signed on to the coalition. The co-chairs and leaders of the coalition included Mayor Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia, Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco. In the week following the official launch, more a dozen new mayors signed on, bringing the total number of mayors to nearly 200. As of January 2018, more than 275 mayors have signed onto the coalition.

Defending Transgender Students from Discrimination

In February, the coalition spoke out against the Trump administration’s decision to rescind guidelines on how public schools can best be inclusive of and affirming for transgender students. A statement issued by the coalition’s co-chairs said, in part: “As mayors, we will continue to support school districts in our cities that are protecting transgender students from discrimination and providing the best possible environment for them to receive an education.”

As the case Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County Schools was scheduled to go before the U.S. Supreme Court in the spring of 2017, 31 mayors, cities, and municipalities signed an amicus brief that was submitted to the Court. Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said in a statement, “Every student deserves equal education regardless of gender identity.”

Speaking Out for Transgender Servicemembers and Veterans

In July, the coalition spoke against President Trump’s attempt to bar transgender Americans from enlisting or serving in the United States military.  In August, the President signed an executive order as such, but the ban has been prevented from going into effect by several court cases concerning its constitutionality. In a statement, Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination said:

‘This nation’s guiding principles promise equal protections and rights for everyone, which includes the honor of joining the military and sacrificing for one’s country. These are brave, honorable individuals who seek to serve their country by putting their lives on the line in defense of others. To deny them those rights based on their gender identity is bigoted and marks a betrayal of American values.”

Fighting for Equal Treatment in the Public Square

Near the end of 2017, the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig & Mullins went before the Supreme Court. The case concerns a baker who refused to offer his services to a same sex couple, citing his religious beliefs. In a strong show of support, more than 150 Mayors and jurisdictions from Rhode Island to California signed a brief submitted to the Supreme Court that spoke out against LGBTQ discrimination.

The brief read, in part: “The cohesiveness and inclusiveness of our communities depend on our ability to insist that everyone – whatever their beliefs and values and however they conduct their private affairs – treat one another equally and with respect in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other areas of public life.”

Remembering Mayor Ed Lee, Founder of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination

In December 2017, Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination lost a pillar of the movement, co-chair Ed Lee of San Francisco, who unexpectedly passed away.  

Mayor Lee was the first Asian-American mayor in his city, and was an advocate for many important causes. Under his leadership the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition grew to more than 275 members nationwide. One of Mayor Lee’s last actions was to sign the amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court in the Masterpiece case.

Following Mayor Lee’s death, the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition said, “Mayor Lee was committed to taking a stand for the dignity and respect of all of his constituents, including LGBT people, and the impact of his good work has been felt across the country for decades.”

Mayor Lee leaves behind his wife, Anita, and daughters, Brianna and Tania. We hope the memory of his tremendous character will bring them comfort.

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Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether is the first mayor in South Dakota to join the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination

January 16, 2018 by admin
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