Recently, the mayors of cities all over California, and the United States, came together in support of marriage equality for the citizens of their cities. It’s an issue with significant impact for communities, but it’s also important to a great segment of our population, not just same-sex couples, but also their families, their friends, their associates, and all those that they love and who love them.
One signature was notably absent, that of Vallejo’s own mayor, Osby Davis.
Other nearby cities, whose Mayors did sign the statement, include: Napa, Berkeley, Sebastopol, Sacramento, West Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Watsonville, Santa Clara, Chico, San Leandro, Windsor, Alameda, Petaluma, Pleasanton, Davis, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Mountain View, Richmond, Fremont, Oakland, Hayward, Emeryville, and Palo Alto, to name a few. So far, mayors of over 200 of our best and most inviting cities have proven that they are truly committed to fairness for their citizens and to making their towns as inclusive as possible. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stated, “We understand that the strength and health of our cities are enhanced when all families are protected and supported.”
The full statement reads:
“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.”
We all remember when Mayor Davis made his unfortunate comments to the New York Times about gays not “going to heaven”. He said that the matter was one of his own personal beliefs which has no bearing on his role as mayor. He also claimed that his personal views would never impact his ability to do his job as mayor. We now have proof that this is simply not true. It does impact his job as Mayor of Vallejo. Our mayor does have the right to his own opinions. He does not have the right to jeopardize our city’s economic development in his quest to impose his misguided beliefs on others.
When this group of some of the largest, most productive and most influential cities in the United States came together to support equality for all their citizens, Mayor Davis refused to take part. Even now, after the State and Federal courts have affirmed the constitutional right of all Californians to share in marriage, he still refuses. This is the very same constitution that he swore to uphold as an elected official in California.
We believe the mayor should immediately sign the statement which says that Vallejo is a city in which all people are treated equally, in which all people are welcomed, and in which all people are given the same ability to share in their community as loving committed couples. All people deserve to share their dreams, and share their love with their spouse, and to live as part of a vibrant and productive community where all are treated with the respect they deserve.
Speaking at this year’s Martin Luther King celebration, Mayor Davis said, “We are all God's people and we all need to love everybody. We need to become a drum major for love and to recognize everyone is a human being." If Mayor Davis cannot join in the support for equality of our citizens, he needs to realize that he is failing to follow his own admonitions, he is failing to uphold the constitution to which he has sworn allegiance, and he is also failing to live up to the dream which Dr. Martin Luther King so eloquently advocated.
NAACP, VALLEJO CHAPTER
For more information: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/mayors