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US: Nashville Mayor endorses same-sex marriage

Nick Duffy August 22, 2014

The Mayor of Nashville has announced his support for same-sex marriage.

Karl Dean, who has been mayor of the Tennessee city since 2007, this week announced his support for the ‘Mayors For The Freedom To Marry’ campaign.

He said: “I believe that all people should be treated fairly and equally and that their individual dignity should be respected.

“Embracing and celebrating our growing diversity makes our city stronger. Nashville needs to continue in that direction, and it’s my hope that joining this effort will help us do that.”

He joins nearly 500 mayors from around the US who have backed the campaign, according to the Freedom to Marry group, but is the first to do so from Tennessee.

Mr Dean previously threw his support behind a plan to provide equal health benefits for same-sex partners of city employees.

Tennessee Equality Project’s Executive Director Chris Sanders said: “On behalf of Tennessee’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied community, we extend our profound thanks to Mayor Dean for his support.

“It has been our pleasure to work with our national partners at Freedom to Marry on this development and to work with the Dean administration since 2007 on policy advances that protect our community in Nashville.

“Mayor Dean also stood for our entire statewide community when he worked against discriminatory state legislation such as HB600. Today’s announcement extends his reputation as a champion of equality.”

Earlier this year, a wedding venue in Tennessee refused to allow two gay Iraq veterans to hold their commitment ceremony there, claiming it would violate state law.

The venue later changed its policy, and will now allow same-sex ceremonies.

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