New England mayors join new national anti-discrimination coalition

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza
Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Jorge Elorza, who among 172 mayors in 42 states joined the newly formed coalition Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination. Photo courtesy of Mayor Jorge Elorza

New England is well represented within the newly formed organization Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination. On January 18, two days before the presidential inauguration, 172 mayors from 42 states formed the bipartisan coalition to “secure LGBT nondiscrimination protections locally even if they’re not advancing federally.”

At its launch meeting, the Center for American Progress announced that it will release a report “explaining a variety of options for nonlegislative actions that local governments can take to protect LGBT people. As of now only 32 states provide LGBT protections. Included among the list is to issue nondiscrimination protections for city and county employees and in public services; prevent discrimination and expand opportunities through grants and contracts; and establish LGBT liasons, commissions, and advisory boards,” according to a January 28 Advocate website report.

In New England, Massachusetts leads the region with 12 cities’ leaders signed on. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine each have two. Mayors in New Hampshire and Vermont have yet to sign on.

Notably, among those signed on nationally are several mayors in North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and other states where statewide anti-discrimination laws are brewing or already on the books.

“North Carolina’s House Bill 2 was referenced multiple times during the meeting by mayors as an example of what can happen to a state’s economy and public standing when discrimination is legalized. North Carolina lost a reported $329.9 million in revenue and more than 730 jobs. Mayors expressed concern that the same could happen in Texas if the state passes the anti-LGBT bill recently filed,” reports the Advocate.

For those in cities not yet in the coalition, you can put your mayor in contact with a Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination representative by asking your mayor to visit the sign on web page.

New England cities with mayors who’ve taken the initiative thus far include:

Massachusetts

Joseph Curtatone, Somerville

Robert Dolan, Melrose

Kimberley Driscoll, Salem

Kevin Dumas, Attleboro

Jon Mitchell, New Bedford

Alex Morse, Holyoke

David Narkewicz, Northampton

Joseph Petty, Worcester

Domenic Sarno, Springfield

Linda Tyer, Pittsfield

Martin Walsh, Boston

Setti Warren, Newton

 

Rhode Island

Jorge Elorza, Providence

Donald Grebien, Pawtucket

 

Connecticut

Scott Kaupin, Enfield

Michael Passero, New London

 

Maine

Joseph Baldacci, Bangor

Ethan Strimling, Portland