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February 10, 2012

Eight Ohio mayors have joined marriage group

East Cleveland--Last July, when East Cleveland passed a broad civil rights ordinance, attorney Leslye Huff noted, “This should put another crack in the presumption that black people are more homophobic than white people. It just isn’t true. We have a different style when we fuss about stuff.”

Huff, who drafted the legislation, went on to note, “The Cleveland Stonewall Democrats spent a couple years nurturing a relationship with the city and letting everyone get to know us.”

Those years have paid another dividend, as East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton is now a Mayor for Marriage Equality, an initiative of the national group Freedom to Marry.

At the winter meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors on January 20, the group announced their first batch of mayors signing on to the effort, which included Edward Kelley of Cleveland Heights and David Berger of Lima.

The group now includes 135 mayors nationwide, led by Michael Bloomberg of new York City, Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Jerry Sanders of San Diego,  Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and the openly lesbian Annise Parker of Houston. The full list of members is at www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/mayors-for-the-freedom-to-marry.

Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus was accidentally included on that list. He is not currently signed on to the initiative, but Equality Ohio is lobbying him to join.

In the second batch of mayors signing up, six moreOhio cities were represented. Along with Norton, Lakewood’s Mike Summers, Don Plusquellic of Akron, Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, Cleveland’s Frank Jackson and Sara Drew of Stow all added their names to the list, leaving Columbus the largest city in the state whose mayor has not signed on.

“Noticeably absent is Columbus’ own Mayor Michael B. Coleman,” an Equality Ohio e-mail noted. “The large, diverse, and ever-growing LGBT community in Columbus deserves full support from its elected officials.”

The e-mail then gives contact information for Coleman’s office, as well as carrying a link to an online petition urging him to sign on to the effort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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