Dallas’ Mike Rawlings won’t join more than 70 mayors from across the country who’ve signed a pledge in support of same-sex marriage during this week’s U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C.
“The mayor does not plan to publicly support any social issues but would rather focus on the policy issues that impact Dallas,” Rawlings’ chief of staff, Paula Blackmon, said in an email to Dallas Voice today. “Also know we have not signed onto other similar requests.”
Mayors who’ve signed the pledge sponsored by the group Freedom to Marry include Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Annise Parker of Houston, Jerry Sanders of San Diego, Thomas Menino of Boston and Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.
Jackie Yodashkin, a spokeswoman for Freedom to Marry, said the full list of mayors who’ve signed the pledge will be revealed during a press conference Friday morning to kick off the campaign, called Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.
However, Yodashkin told Dallas Voice today that Houston’s Parker is the only mayor from Texas who’s signed the pledge thus far. About 20 mayors from Texas pre-registered for the Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, according to the website.
During his campaign last year, Rawlings said he voted against Proposition 2, Texas’ 2005 constitutional amendment that banned both same-sex marriage and civil unions. When asked directly whether he supports marriage equality, Rawlings said: “I think it’s one of the most irrelevant issues for the world. I think we should get beyond it and let people do what they want to do. Some of my best friends have been married, and I’m pleased that they have been, and so I’m really happy for them. I’ve supported their marriage, but its’ not the mayor’s job to say, ‘We need to do this.'”
Read Freedom to Marry’s full press release about the campaign below.
Mayors from Across the Country to Launch Mayors for the Freedom to Marry
WASHINGTON – Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, will launch Mayors for the Freedom to Marry at a press conference during the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C., on January 20. More than 70 Republican, Democrat and Independent mayors from cities across the country have pledged to support gay and lesbian couples’ freedom to marry. By joining the group, mayors hope to expand public and political support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.
The broad-based coalition of mayors includes Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, and Annise Parker of Houston, and is chaired by mayors Jerry Sanders of San Diego, Thomas Menino of Boston and U.S. Conference of Mayors President Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.
Date: Friday, January 20, 2012
9:45 AM ET
Location: Capital Hilton Hotel
2nd Floor Foyer outside Presidential Ballroom
1001 16th Street NW
Participants: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles
Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego
Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston
Mayor Annise Parker
Mayor Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma
Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director of Freedom to Marry
Tom Cochran, U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director