September 25, 2014

Let's Celebrate! Columbia mayor comes out as 500th to support marriage equality, 2nd for our state!

photo credit: The State

It's not often that I get good news in the realm of LGBT+ from my very conservative home state, but today is one of those days.

While Columbia mayer Steve Benjamin has had some....shall we say...other issues during his tenure, he made a bold move by joining a nationwide coalition supporting marriage equality, becoming its 500th member, and the second mayor from South Carolina to join.

I am very proud to see this step taken by the leadership of our state capital.

In a story published by Buzzfeed:

“It’s a great honor to be able to stand up and represent 500 mayors from all across this great nation standing together in the name of equality,” Benjamin said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “As Dr. King might say, I don’t know if that’s the historic, politic or popular thing to do. But I do know that it’s the right thing to do because we’re all Americans and if you are not free then neither am I.”

Coalitions like this are more important than ever:

“From Alabama to West Virginia and from big cities and small, 500 mayors have now pledged to make the case in their communities for ending marriage discrimination,” said Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, in a statement. “Mayor Benjamin, like the hundreds of other mayors, knows that marriage strengthens families and communities.”
And with the Supreme Court about to weigh taking up marriage equality cases, Solomon said the coalition sends a strong message to the justices. 
“The Supreme Court should listen to the bipartisan chorus of mayors who stand on the right side of history and bring an end to marriage discrimination in America once and for all,” he said. 

 I truly hope that the justices heed the words and deeds of people like these, and the every day citizens expressing their support for marriage equality.

A big kudos to Mayor Benjamin for taking this stance. I hope to see him continue to push for reform and to use his influence to perhaps push for other key LGBT+ rights in his jurisdiction (he could look to Myrtle Beach for some examples...).

In the meantime, I am buoyed by progress. Hear, hear!

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