Monday, 23 January 2012

Big-City Mayors Go to Bat for Same-Sex Marriage

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Mayors of more that 70 U.S. cities have joined forces in support of fully legalizing homosexual marriage. According to the Associated Press, the mayors of New York, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Diego announced that they would co-chair the group Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, which was launched January 20 during the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

On the homosexual activist Freedom to Marry website, the mayoral quintet declared: “As mayors of five of America’s great cities, we understand that the strength and health of our cities are enhanced when all families are protected and supported.” The group claimed to know “many people in loving and committed same-sex relationships who are active participants in improving our communities and we’ve seen how important marriage has been for them and their families.”

One of the five, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (above, left), has been the undisputed leader in the push for normalizing same-sex marriage in both New York City and State. Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Bloomberg challenged religious leaders and others who are working to defend traditional families from the onslaught of homosexual marriage, scolding them that “it is not about what you want to believe or what you think is right or wrong. It is also not about what organized religion should or should not do. This is a civil rights issue.”

According to the Washington Post, “Bloomberg and other mayors cited moral and monetary reasons for why same-sex couples should be permitted to marry. After New York legalized gay marriage last summer, Bloomberg said hotels, caterers, and banquet halls all benefited.”

Bloomberg claimed that on average each month in his city, “700 gay and lesbian couples are now getting married at the city clerk’s offices. That means every month, hundreds of more parents and children are gaining the economic stability and protections that come with being a formal family unit.”

He warned that “the question is not if marriage equality will come to all 50 states; the only question is when. I believe that day will come sooner than most people think.”

Openly lesbian Houston mayor Annise Parker, another of the mayoral group’s co-chairs, made the launch event a family affair. “By telling my family and my kids that they are not second-class Americans,” Parker was quoted by the Post, “we can build a stronger America and a stronger future for all of us.”

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, among their commitments in the homosexual marriage campaign, the 70-plus mayors “have pledged to push their cities to pass laws allowing same-sex marriage and urge Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.”

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, another of the co-chairs, told the crowd that had convened to cheer the pro-homosexual mayors: “If we truly believe in family values, we should value all families. Denying gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry weakens society by hurting our communities, neighbors, and families.”

Villaraigosa, who has been a strident opponent of California’s Proposition 8, which the state’s residents passed in 2008 to protect traditional marriage, is one of a handful of mayors who have used the issue as an opportunity for some political grandstanding. “In 2008 he presided over the marriage of a same-sex couple, uniting a Hollywood producer and his five-year companion in a short ceremony at City Hall,” reported the Times. Similarly, last July, as his state struggled over the issue, New York mayor Bloomberg officiated at a same-sex marriage ceremony between to of his male staff members.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, was also in attendance at the launch of the coalition, declaring that he supported legalizing homosexual marriage for no other reason than “I think it’s the right thing and it’s consistent with our values. To me, marriage is a recognition of love and the state should not be in the business of discriminating.”

Emanuel’s former boss has been an aggressive foe of traditional marriage over his three-plus years in the White House. Most significantly, as reported by The New American, in February of last year President Obama ordered Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department “to stop defending the constitutionality of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which essentially defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and protects states from being required to recognize same-sex partnerships as marriage.”

In a statement supporting Obama’s decision, Holder declared that “much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional.”

Additionally, in the 15 years since DOMA became law, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia have all legalized homosexual marriage, and several other states have passed laws legalizing same-sex civil unions.

But by contrast, at least 30 states have enacted constitutional amendments or legislation defending marriage as between a man and a woman and prohibiting same-sex marriage.

In their official statement declaring their support for homosexual marriage, the mayors recalled that at their annual meeting in 2009 they had unanimously approved a resolution stating: “The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports marriage equality for same-sex couples, and the recognition and extension of full equal rights to such unions, including family and medical leave, tax equity, and insurance and retirement benefits, and opposes the enshrinement of discrimination in the federal or state constitutions.”

Thus far, no mayor of a U.S. city has come forward to officially oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage, or to voice his or her support for the traditional institution of marriage.

Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to view a list of mayors who have signed on to the coalition pushing for homosexual marriage.

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