Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has evolved in his understanding of the LGBT community and has now embraced marriage equality. He affirmed this by signing the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry pledge.
Mr. Ravenstahl said he made up his mind after speaking with gay friends and staff, as well as members of his LGBT task force.
“My mind has changed. My heart has changed. I thought it was important to express that,” he said.
He said President Barack Obama’s support of gay marriage was one of the reasons he decided to express public support for gay marriage.
“I felt it was important for me to express what my personal belief was,” he said.
He said he expects some constituents to be upset with his support, but said he doesn’t make decisions based on whether people agree or disagree with him.
While in office, Ravenstahl has established an LGBT Advisory Committee and supported Pridefest each year. He hasn’t had an opportunity to cast a vote on LGBT issues.
Fortunately, the Mayor will have opportunities to roll up his sleeves and get to work on marriage related issues.
- Advocating for statewide efforts to recognize our rights and extend equality.
- Establishing a “tax offset” for City employees receiving domestic partner benefits.
- Working with the firefighters and paramedic unions to offer domestic partner benefits to their members (City residents.)
Ravenstahl joins 10 Pennsylvania Mayors who have signed the pledge – Libby White of Doylestown, Salvatore Panto of Easton, Dennis O’Brien of Newtown, Tim McGuide of Homewood Borough, William McCall of Parker, J. Richard Gray of Lancaster, Adam Forgie of Turtle Creek, John Fetterman of Braddock, John Callahan of Bethlehem, and Michael Nutter of Philadelphia.
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