Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Membership Breaks 300!

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is proud to welcome 11 new mayors to our coalition from the past few weeks. These new coalition members understand that discrimination against LGBT people in housing, employment, and public accommodations is wrong. With the addition of these new members, our total membership has passed 300 total mayors from 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Santa Fe, NM Mayor Alan Webber said upon joining:

“Santa Fe’s commitments to diversity and to equality go hand-in-hand with an obligation: that we’ll stand up and fight for inclusivity and against discrimination. It’s reflected in our City charter, which says, “The human and civil rights of the residents of Santa Fe are inviolate and shall not be diminished or otherwise infringed. To that end, no city ordinance, resolution or policy shall be enacted or adopted nor shall any action be condoned which discriminates on the basis of ethnicity, race, age, religion, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition or citizenship status. It’s our duty to live up to the words of the charter and the values they represent. It’s also up to us to make these values part of our daily interactions with one another and the stands we take as a community – it’s a commitment that is woven into who we are. It’s something we take pride in.”

Mayor Keith W. Corbett of Brookings, SD said:

“Brookings is an inclusive community. There is strength in numbers, and I proudly join Mayor Mike Huether with the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination to erase discrimination and treat everyone fairly and equally.”

Join us in welcoming our new coalition members!

Mayor Neil Bradshaw: Ketchum, ID
Mayor Chris Koos: Normal, IL
Mayor Mike Kelly: Roeland Park, KS
Mayor Ruthanne Fuller: Newton, MA
Mayor Alan Webber: Santa Fe, NM
Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh: Cooperstown, NY
Mayor Ben Walsh: Syracuse, NY
Mayor Keith Corbett: Brookings, SD
Mayor Anne Watson: Montpelier, VT
Mayor Juslyn Manalo: Daly City, CA
Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz: Toledo, OH
Mayor Will Hall: Shoreline, WA
Mayor Samantha Paradis: Belfast, ME
Mayor David Terrazas: Santa Cruz, CA
Mayor Cathy Murillo: Santa Barbara, CA

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is a bipartisan coalition of municipal leaders dedicated to securing inclusive nondiscrimination protections for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, at all levels of government.

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


Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Celebrates International Transgender Day of Visibility

March 30, 2018 by admin

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is proud to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31. It is essential to feature and amplify the voices of transgender people as they seek full, lived equality throughout the country.

One of the many Mayors in our coalition is Jess Herbst, of New Hope, Texas. For the past two years, she has served as the Mayor of New Hope, a small town in the Lone Star State. She has been an active member of our Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition, one of the core programs of Freedom for All Americans that brings together 300+ mayors from nearly every state in the country to push toward inclusive nondiscrimination protections.

“Today is a day for celebrating the trans people who have not only survived, but thrived. Trans people have thrived because of our visibility,” she said this week in celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility. “The more visible transgender and gender diverse people are in every aspect of our communities, the more opportunity we have to help our fellow Americans understand that we want what so many people want – to be able to work hard, to provide for ourselves and our families, and to be seen as individuals. As the first openly transgender mayor in Texas I am proud to lead the people of New Hope, Texas forward and to show in my small way that transgender people are just as able to represent their community as any other person.”

We thank Mayor Herbst for sharing her story, and all the members of our coalition who have taken a stand for the rights of all LGBTQ people.


Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Oppose Anti-Transgender Military Ban from White House

March 26, 2018 by admin

Late Friday evening, March 23, the White House made clear that — despite multiple legal challenges and injunctions — it is committed to seeing through a discriminatory policy that bans transgender Americans from serving their country. The administration is signaling its intention to move forward with supporting a ban that is largely identical to that originally announced over Twitter by President Trump last summer.

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, a national nonpartisan coalition of more than 250 mayors from nearly every state, issued the following statement:

“As mayors, we oppose the transgender military ban that would weaken our military, contradict the values that we stand for as Americans, and be devastating to transgender service members and their families. The Administration is wasting valuable time and resources by targeting talented and dedicated soldiers for discrimination. Every American who is qualified, can meet existing military standards, and is willing to risk their life to keep our country safe should be free to serve. Four separate federal courts already have ruled that a ban on transgender service members in the military is unconstitutional, and we’re confident that this attack on transgender service members will not stand the test of time.”

Four different courts have ruled against the ban, resulting in stays being issued on implementation and clearing the way for transgender Americans to officially and openly take steps to enlist on January 1, 2018. In all cases, the judges ruled that the ban was not valid military policy, but rather, outright and indefensible discrimination.


Minneapolis Mayor Speaks Out for LGBTQ Equal Treatment Following Historic Election

March 14, 2018 by admin

In January of this year, newly elected Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jacob Frey, signed on to our nationwide coalition, Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, which features more than 300 mayors who have signed a pledge in favor of comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

Mayor Frey has a history of allying with the LGBTQ community and has worked for many years to make positive change in the North Star State. In 2011, the state’s LGBTQ community was under attack at the ballot due to a proposed constitutional amendment against marriage equality. In response, Frey and his wife, avid long distance runners, organized an event known as the “Big Gay Race,” which mobilized more than 2,000 Minnesotans from across the state and raised over $250,000. The race came months ahead of the November 2012 election, when Minnesota made history by becoming the first state to defeat and permanently stave off a constitutional amendment restricting marriage to different-sex couples.

Minneapolis itself has also worked hard to become a welcoming environment for LGBTQ people, in particular transgender people, who often face disproportionate amounts of harassment, violence and intimidation.

The City of Minneapolis established a Transgender Issues Work Group in March 2014. The Work Group looks at issues facing the Transgender community, and the group’s goal is to examine issues, engage the broader community, and make policy recommendations for City government that will affect the lives of Transgender residents of Minneapolis. The group includes participants from City departments, City Council offices, the Mayor’s office, and the community. The group is taking a systematic approach to examine issues and develop policy recommendations that could be adopted by the City, and areas of focus include criminal justice system reform, employment, health, civic participation, and public spaces.

In November 2017 the city took another huge step forward by becoming the first city in U.S. history to elect an openly transgender person of color to city council. Andrea Jenkins became the first transgender woman of color elected and Phillipe Cunningham became the first black transgender man elected to City Council. Read more about Councilperson Phillipe Cunningham here.

Mayor Frey commented:

“I am so proud to be the Mayor of a city that just elected two transgender people of color to our City Council [in November 2017]. Prior to being Council Members, I worked with Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham and others to approve a resolution in February 2017 that established the Transgender Equity Council. The council serves as an advisory board to the City and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on matters of importance to the transgender, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary community. The council’s work will include studying issues, courses of action, policies, and programs as well as making recommendations.”

Frey has made it clear that the wellbeing, safety, and security of transgender people are an important concern to him and his administration, as demonstrated by his actions past and present. We’re grateful for his work as we welcome him to the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition!


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

January 29, 2018 by admin

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!

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


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.


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


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.


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

January 16, 2018 by admin

Welcome to 5 New Mayors Standing Against Discrimination in Our Coalition!

December 18, 2017 by admin

5 new Mayors have signed our Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Pledge, promising to stand up for comprehensive non-discrimination protections in their municipalities and across the country.

We welcome:

Mayor Dobies from Jackson commented:

“Our victory with the LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance in Jackson, MI would not have been possible without the solidarity of the community and business leaders who dedicated themselves to building a more tolerant and inclusive community in the face of great adversity … I’m proud to stand behind those everyday heroes and continue to advocate for fairness and equality for the LGBTQ community.”

Mayor Bauters of Emeryville, CA also added:

“I am proud to be an out, LGBT mayor representing the people of Emeryville, California. We are a community committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of our residents, employees and visitors alike. Discrimination of any kind has no place in our county. If we are to achieve the dream of equality for all we must begin our pursuit of equality and justice for all in our own front yard.”

Welcome to our new coalition members!


Who is Ed Lee? First Asian-American Mayor of San Francisco Dies Unexpectedly In Office

December 12, 2017 by admin

HRC Mourns the Death of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

December 12, 2017 by admin

Remembering & Mourning San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Coalition Founder

December 12, 2017 by admin

Today the office of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced that the mayor has passed away alongside family, friends and colleagues at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

In addition to being an advocate for a number of important causes, Lee was the founder of the national Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition, consisting of more than 250 mayors across the country advocating for equal treatment for LGBT people in all aspects of life. Most recently, the mayors spoke out in support of nondiscrimination protections related to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case that was heard at the Supreme Court last week.

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination issued the following statement in response to the news:

Mayor Lee was a true tireless champion of LGBT equality, and equality for all. At his urging, and under his leadership, Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination was founded to be a voice for LGBT equality and has grown to more than 250 mayors nationally.

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. We send his family and loved ones our deepest condolences — we hope the memory of his tremendous character will bring them comfort during this hard time.

He will be truly missed.”


30+ Mayors Sign Open Statement Supporting LGBTQ Non-Discrimination As Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument

December 5, 2017 by admin

As the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a landmark discrimination case that could have far-reaching consequences for LGBTQ Americans, 30+ mayors from across the country are uniting to show their support for nondiscrimination measures that ensure all Americans are treated fairly and equally.

The Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case concerns a Colorado bakery that refused to sell a cake to a same-sex couple celebrating their civil marriage. This action was in direct violation of Colorado’s nondiscrimination law, and both the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the state appellate court ruled in favor of the couple.

Today’s statement is the latest in a number of actions taken by mayors around the Masterpiece case. In October more than 150 mayors and municipalities representing 51 million constituents signed onto a friend-of-the-court brief in support of nondiscrimination protections – most who were activated through FFAA’s Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination program.

The mayors issued the following joint statement:

“As mayors of cities large and small, we hold a special responsibility to protect our residents and ensure their equal participation in public life. Discrimination, whatever the cause, serves no purpose but to divide our communities and we cannot allow our public square to become a place of fear, especially for marginalized communities like our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents. We affirm the right of all people to be treated with respect and served on equal terms. Equality for our LGBTQ residents does not reduce our freedom of speech nor our religious expression – it enhances it.”

The full list of mayors who specifically signed the statement:

To learn more about the wide array of constituencies supporting nondiscrimination in advance of the Masterpiece oral arguments, visit


Local mayors sign amicus briefs supporting upcoming Supreme Court case

November 7, 2017 by admin