Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination Host Briefing, Announce New Co-Chair

January 25, 2019 • 2:58 pm

Coalition continues to grow as mayors and local advocates host annual briefing to address progress and setbacks on LGBTQ nondiscrimination around the country

WASHINGTON, DC — Today the Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination coalition hosted their third annual briefing at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC. Speakers and members of the coalition provided municipal and state updates on LGBTQ nondiscrimination, an overview of 2019 including recent executive orders and legislative movement in the states and in Congress, and a look at the legal landscape and key court cases. The coalition also introduced its newest co-chair, Mayor London Breed of San Francisco.

“As LGBTQ individuals continue to face discrimination including by our federal administration, it is our duty to stand up for equality, fairness and civil rights,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed, the newest co-chair of the coalition. “I am proud to represent the City of San Francisco as the new co-chair of Mayors Against Discrimination (MAD) and work with Mayors across the country to advance protections for all.”

Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination launched as a program of Freedom for All Americans, and counted San Francisco mayor Ed Lee as a founding co-chair. In the past year, Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination grew to over 320 members from 48 states. mayors played an instrumental role in winning and defending protections for the LGBTQ community in states across the country. With more than half a dozen states having already taken action on LGBTQ nondiscrimination since Election Day, a record number of LGBTQ cases pending before the Supreme Court (as well as cases specifically threatening municipal ordinances such as Brush & NibLLC v. City of Phoenix, which faced oral argument this week), and a commitment by Speaker Pelosi to bring the Equality Act to a vote in the U.S. House in 2019, local progress is more important than ever to help build momentum for LGBTQ rights.

“With thirty states nationwide still lacking comprehensive and explicit protections for LGBTQ people, progress at the local level is integral to building momentum that advances equality for everyone,” said Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans. “Mayors know their constituents best and advocate every day for policies that allow their communities to thrive and maximize productivity, and that includes treating LGBTQ people with dignity and respect. Mayors play a unique role in ensuring the rights of LGBTQ Americans are not trumped by those seeking to erase us.”

In recent weeks, mayors in five states spoke publicly in support of executive orders or state legislative passage, including a joint statement by mayors in New York State celebrating the passage of transgender nondiscrimination legislation; and local mayors applauding executive orders advancing protections in Kansas, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 2018 also saw a major increase in municipal protections -with mayors and city councils enacting ordinances to keep their communities safe and welcoming. Increasingly communities in states without protections are taking action – with more than 50 cities enacting protections in cities like Roeland Park, Kansas; Meridian, Idaho; and Huntington, West Virginia.

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