The late Friday afternoon news dump timing is suspicious, but we can’t help but be thrilled that city of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, already outspoken when it comes to equality in regards to same-sex relationships, has followed Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s lead in joining the “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.”
We are, however, disappointed that the press release did not mention, “Try that, Tim Burchett!” Because we’d be willing to bet there are just as many queer residents of Knox County as there are in the city.
Anyway, here’s what the city sent us. (Emphasis ours, for you TL;DR folks.)
MAYOR ROGERO JOINS MAYORS FOR THE FREEDOM TO MARRY
Mayor Madeline Rogero today joined Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, a national organization of mayors who support marriage equality for same-sex couples. More than 500 mayors in 45 states have already joined the organization. Mayor Rogero is the second mayor in Tennessee to join, after Mayor Karl Dean of Nashville.
“As mayor, I have always said that Knoxville is a city that embraces diversity, and respects and values all of its citizens,” Mayor Rogero said. “That is why I am happy to join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, along with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and more than 500 other mayors across America. The right to public and legal recognition of a committed, loving relationship is fundamental to individual dignity and happiness. I believe the day is coming soon when that right will be affirmed for all Americans, across all 50 states. I stand with my fellow mayors in support and anticipation of that day.”
In joining, Mayor Rogero also affirms the official statement of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry:
“As mayors of great American cities, we proudly stand together in support of the freedom of same-sex couples to marry. We personally know many gay and lesbian people living in our cities who are in committed, loving relationships, who are active participants in the civic life of our communities, and who deserve to be able to marry the person with whom they share their life.
We are proud that at its 2009 annual meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously approved a resolution stating that: ‘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.’
Our cities derive great strength from their diversity, and gay and lesbian families are a crucial part. Studies have shown what we know through our hands-on experience — that cities that celebrate and cultivate diversity are the places where creativity and ideas thrive. They are the places where today’s entrepreneurs are most likely to choose to build the businesses of tomorrow. Allowing same-sex couples the right to marry enhances our ability to build this kind of environment, which is good for all of us.
We stand for the freedom to marry because it enhances the economic competitiveness of our communities, improves the lives of families that call our cities home, and is simply the right thing to do. We look forward to working to build an America where all people can share in the love and commitment of marriage with the person with whom they share their life.”
For more information on Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, see http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/mayors-for-the-freedom-to-marry.