History of Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination Coalition

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.

The coalition’s foundation dates back to the spring of 2016, when a group of mayors from across the country came together to respond to anti-LGBT legislation filed in dozens of states and enacted by state legislatures in North Carolina and Mississippi.

Led by Mayor Edwin Lee of San Francisco, the coalition took action immediately to spur a national dialogue about the impact of discriminatory legislation. Since its inception the Coalition has been a leading voice in supporting protections at the local level and advocating for national policies in support of inclusive nondiscrimination.

Holland & Knight and Freedom for All Americans joined the effort as organizational partners and have helped to support the coalition and the actions of individual member mayors. The coalition was formally launched in January 2017 and expanded to 300 members by February 2018.

Special thanks to the mayors who joined Mayor Lee at the formation of Mayors Against LGBT Coalition, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, then-Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski

The coalition’s founder Mayor Edwin Lee passed away in December 2017. As the coalition continues the work to secure LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections nationwide, we take with us these words from Mayor Lee: “I believe strongly that we should add more protections to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in the United States, not diminish them and deny people their constitutional rights. We as Mayors must stand up together and call out discrimination when we see it, and I believe working together we can create change to ensure the rights of all Americans.”