Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday endorsed a proposed marriage equality plank in the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform.
“It’s basically who we are,” he told Politico’s Mike Allen at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “I believe in family values and I believe that we all want to be able to have a family and marry if we want to. I don’t think the government should be in that business of denying people the fundamental right to marry.”
Villaraigosa, who chairs the 2012 Democratic National Convention, publicly endorsed the proposal less than a week after 22 U.S. senators indicated their support. He also co-chairs a coalition of 175 mayors that includes San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who back marriage for same-sex couples.
“We believe that the government shouldn’t be getting in the lives—interfering with the fundamental liberty, the fundamental right to have a family, to marry,” said Villaraigosa. “It’s been amazing the number of people who’ve just said, let’s stop the culture wars. Let’s get the government out of that business. Let’s focus on what’s important: the economy, getting people back to work.”
“Freedom to Marry thanks Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his leadership in urging the national Democratic Party to include a marriage plank in the platform that will be ratified at the Democratic National Convention, which he is chairing this September,” said Mark Solomon, national campaign director for the Freedom to Marry. “For many years, Mayor Villaraigosa has been a tireless champion, in California and throughout the country, for the freedom of gay and lesbian couples to marry the person they love. He knows that loving and committed couples should not be denied the freedom to profess their commitment in front of their communities, to protect and take care of their families, and share in the critical safety-net of protections that only marriage provides.”