Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, a broad-based nonpartisan coalition of local elected officials around the country, has reached more than 250 members who have pledged their support for LGBT nondiscrimination protections. In total, 258 mayors from 47 states and the District of Columbia are part of the program, led by the national organization Freedom for All Americans.
The mayors hail from cities large and small and represent in total more than 57 million constituents. In recent weeks, new mayors include Lawrence Keller of New Hope, Pennsylvania, a Republican representing a small town of only 2,500 people; John Mulfield of Whitefish, Montana, who represents constituents living in a state with zero explicit protections for LGBT people in any area of life; Mike Purzycki of Wilmington, Delaware, the first Delaware mayor to join the coalition; and Catherine Pugh of Baltimore, Maryland, who is kicking off her city’s Pride events at the end of next week.
Check out some statements from the newest members of the Coalition!
Mayor Catherine Pugh of Baltimore, Maryland: “I have been proud throughout my career to sponsor initiatives that strengthen equal protections for all people, including our LGBT neighbors, friends, and community members. Baltimore is stronger and more competitive when we welcome everyone, no matter who you are or who you love. Our LGBT residents have made invaluable contributions to the community and to our City’s growth. As part of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, I’ll continue my commitment to equality and justice for all.”
Mayor Larry Keller of New Hope, Pennsylvania: “I’m proud to be a longtime supporter of full equality for LGBT residents in New Hope and across the country, and I’m looking forward to continuing my contributions as part of the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition. As a Republican, I believe strongly in allowing every individual to live their life freely as they choose. In my roles as a local business owner and mayor of a small town, I have seen firsthand the importance of welcoming every individual for who they are and creating an environment that thrives on the diversity and talent of every person. I look forward to an America where no one suffers discrimination or harassment because of who they are.”
Mayor Mike Purzycki of Wilmington, Delaware: “Wilmington is a place where all of our LGBT friends, family members, and neighbors are welcome. Our City has a long history of promoting equal opportunity and justice for LGBT employees as we were one of the first governments in this region to establish a domestic partnership benefits program. Wilmington has been at the forefront of the State of Delaware’s efforts to ensure statewide protections from discrimination and through the enactment of marriage equality. While we have and will continue to make progress, too many LGBT people continue to face unequal treatment and hostility simply because of who they are. I am proud to join Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination to show support for my LGBT constituents and to do our part to help finish the job of bringing equality to all in America.”
Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination launched in January at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC, and will convene at the next conference in Miami Beach at the end of this month. In past months, mayors in the coalition have spoken at in-person briefings and hosted online panels about equality, spoken out in the media about their personal stories of support, and issued public statements against discriminatory legislation and rollbacks to LGBT rights.
In Washington state, where opponents of transgender equality are similarly attempting to repeal a decade-long transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination law at the ballot, five new mayors have joined the coalition in the past month, bringing the total to 12 across the state.