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OPINION

80 mayors pledge to fight for gay 'marriage'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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WASHINGTON (BP) -- Eighty mayors, led by ones from some of the nation's largest and most-influential cities, have signed a document pledging to fight for legalizing gay "marriage."
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The mayors of New York City, Boston, Houston, San Diego and Los Angeles are co-chairs of the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry coalition, which also includes the mayors of Portland, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, Cleveland, Kansas City and Philadelphia.

"We are honored to lead this bipartisan group of mayors who support ending marriage discrimination at all levels of government," the co-chairs said in a statement. "While we will each have different strategies for pursuing that end, we all agree on the goal: securing the freedom to marry and upholding equal rights for all citizens. We are a diverse group of mayors -- from cities in Kansas, Indiana and West Virginia, to the four largest cities in America. Our cities are culturally, racially and geographically diverse, but we share one important value: a common commitment to fairness."

Traditional groups warn that legalizing gay "marriage" will harm religious freedom, and they point to a series of recent legal cases, including ones in which Catholic adoption agencies in Massachusetts and Illinois chose to stop doing business with the state instead of being forced to place children in same-sex homes. Massachusetts had legalized gay "marriage," Illinois civil unions. Traditionalists also warn that redefining marriage could impact what is taught in public schools and could affect the tax exempt status of religious organizations.

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Following is the complete list of mayors who signed the statement:

Michael Bloomberg - New York, N.Y. (Chair)

Thomas Menino - Boston, Mass. (Chair)

Annise Parker - Houston, Texas (Chair)

Jerry Sanders - San Diego, Calif. (Chair)

Antonio Villaraigosa - Los Angeles, Calif. (Chair)

Samuel Adams - Portland, Ore.

Tom Barrett - Milwaukee, Wis.

Tom Bates - Berkeley, Calif.

William Bell - Durham, N.C.

David Berger - Lima, Ohio

Richard Bloom - Santa Monica, Calif.

Cory Booker - Newark, N.J.

Bruce Botelho - Juneau, Alaska

Ardell Brede - Rochester, Minn.

Christopher Cabaldon - W. Sacramento, Calif.

John Callahan - Bethlehem, Pa.

Stephen Cassidy - San Leandro, Calif.

Julian Castro - San Antonio, Texas

Craig Cates - Key West, Fla.

Mark Chilton - Carrboro, N.C.

Joshua Cohen - Annapolis, Md.

Chris Coleman - St. Paul, Minn.

Dennis Coombs - Longmont, Colo.

Joy Cooper - Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Frank Cownie - Des Moines, Iowa

Aron Cromwell - Lawrence, Kan.

John DeStefano - New Haven, Conn.

Daniel T. Drew - Middletown, Conn.

John Duran - West Hollywood, Calif.

Pa.ul Dyster - Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Jennifer Eckstrom - S. Tucson, Ariz.

Rahm Emanuel - Chicago, Ill.

Bill Finch - Bridgeport, Conn.

Daryl Justin Finizio - New London, Conn.

Larry Forester - Signal Hill, Calif.

Peter Fosselman - Kensington, Md.

Bob Foster - Long Beach, Calif.

Laura Friedman - Glendale, Calif.

Ava Frisinger - Issaquah, Wash.

Debora Fudge - Windsor, Calif.

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Marie Gilmore - Alameda, Calif.

Mike Gin - Redondo Beach, Calif.

David Glass - Petaluma, Calif.

Chad Goerner - Princeton, N.J.

Vincent Gray - Washington, D.C.

Michael Hancock - Denver, Colo.

George Heartwell - Grand Rapids, Mich.

John Hieftje - Ann Arbor, Mich.

Bobby Hopewell - Kalamazoo, Mich.

Frank Jackson - Cleveland, Ohio

Sylvester James, Jr. - Kansas City, Mo.

Joe Jaworski - Galveston, Texas

Edward Kelley - Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Mark Kleinschmidt - Chapel Hill, N.C.

Joe Krovoza - Davis, Calif.

Mark Kruzan - Bloomington, Ind.

Don Lane - Santa Cruz, Calif.

Timothy Leavitt - Vancouver, Wash.

Edwin Lee - San Francisco, Calif.

Lee Leffingwell - Austin, Texas

Peter Lindstrom - Falcon Heights, Minn.

Craig Lowe - Gainesville, Fla.

David Lublin - Town of Chevy Chase, Md.

Karen Majewski - Hamtramck, Mich.

Jim Maley - Collingswood, N.J.

A. David Marne - Shavano Park, Texas

Jan Marx - San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Mike McGinn - Seattle, Wash.

Alex Morse - Holyoke, Mass.

Lori Moseley - Miramar, Fla.

Jeri Muoio - West Palm Beach, Fla.

Svante Myrick - Ithaca, N.Y.

David Narkewicz - Northampton, Mass.

Don Ness - Duluth, Minn.

Michael Nutter - Philadelphia, Pa.

Frank Ortis - Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Kitty Piercy - Eugene, Ore.

Don Plusquellic - Akron, Ohio

Steve Pougnet - Palm Springs, Calif.

Jean Quan - Oakland, Calif.

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake - Baltimore, Md.

Thomas Richards - Rochester, N.Y.

Clarissa Rowe - Arlington, Mass.

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Matthew Ryan - Binghamton, N.Y.

RT Rybak - Minneapolis, Minn.

Robert Sabonjian - Waukegan, Ill.

Helene Schneider - Santa Barbara, Calif.

Paul Schreiber - Ypsilanti, Mich.

Ann Schwab - Chico, Calif.

Pedro Segarra - Hartford, Conn.

Elic Senter - Franklinton, N.C.

Jeffrey Slavin - Town of Somerset, Md.

Francis G. Slay - St. Louis, Mo.

Bruce Smiley-Kalff - Castle Hills, Texas

Paul Soglin - Madison, Wis.

Domenick Stampone - Haledon, N.J.

Marilyn Strickland - Tacoma, Wash.

Michael Sweeney - Hayward, Calif.

Angel Taveras - Providence, R.I.

Nick Tell - Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Elizabeth Tisdahl - Evanston, Ill.

Charlotte Warren - Hallowell, Maine

Setti Warren - Newton, Mass.

Jennifer West - Emeryville, Calif.

Bruce Williams - Takoma Park, Md.

Dana Williams - Park City Park, Utah

Dawn Zimmer - Hoboken, N.J.

Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press. . Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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