Atlanta’s mayor takes no issue standing in front of a podium and quoting RuPaul.
“Never forget that the most political thing you could do is to follow your heart,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told a crowd at a May 5 fundraiser. It appears she is doing just that.
Apart from promptly putting together an LGBTQ advisory board for the city soon after she entered office, Mayor Bottoms now shows her dedication to the community on a national level by signing onto the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition. The bipartisan group is comprised of municipal leaders from coast to coast “dedicated to securing inclusive nondiscrimination protections for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, at all levels of government.”
The anti-discriminatory pledge includes taking action to prohibit the use of city funds to pay for travel to places that are anti-LGBTQ, ensuring that law enforcement employs anti-discriminatory policies within their ranks as well as getting proper training on handling LGBTQ affairs outside the department, and passing local ordinances that ensure no one is discriminated upon because of who they are or who they love.
Under Mayor Bottoms, Atlanta joins such cities as D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Salt Lake City, Detroit, and others in its quest for being too busy to hate.
“The City of Atlanta is the cradle of the Civil Rights movement in America and we continue to value the protection of all human rights,” Mayor Bottoms said in a May 15 release. “Joining Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is another important step toward protecting the dignity and freedom of all who call Atlanta home.”
“Mayor Bottoms’ commitment to the fundamental values of fairness and equity for our community is not only steadfast, but demonstrable through actions which protect LGBTQ rights in Atlanta and across the country,” says Robin Shahar, the mayor’s advisor on LGBT issues since 2013.
Added Malik Brown, LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator, “From prioritizing the creation of the mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board to joining other mayors around the country to institute policies that ensure the safety and dignity of all Atlanta residents, Mayor Bottoms has already proven to be a fierce advocate for our community who will always have our back. And she’s just getting started.”
We’ll certainly be watching, and thank you, Mayor Bottoms, for your support.
“When the District of Columbia passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, our city again stood up for fairness, equality, and dignity for all of our residents. But when members of our community travel outside of Washington, DC on vacation or on business, they continue to face potential discrimination and a patchwork of unequal laws. It’s time now for other cities, states, and the entire country to embrace LGBT nondiscrimination protections so no one faces unfair treatment simply because of who they are.”
— D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser
“The City of Chicago is committed to fighting for equality and against discrimination in all its forms. As mayor, I will ensure that our policies and protections apply to everyone who lives in and visits our city. In recent years, we have implemented reforms to achieve major progress in improving inclusion for our LGBTQ community at our schools and throughout the city, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that the voices and interests of all residents in Chicago are not only protected and represented in our policies, but embraced across the city.”
— Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
“In 1997, I joined the State Legislature as Utah’s first openly gay elected official. Today, I lead the capital city as the first lesbian mayor. Our city has long embraced the issues of equality, fairness, and opportunity. We have a long history of protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community, and we led the state in the adoption of an ordinance that bans sexual and gender identity discrimination. We know that diversity makes our city strong and vibrant. Salt Lake City is, and will always be, a welcoming community to all.”