When mayors from across the United States meet in Washington, D.C. on Friday, one of the topics of discussion will be same sex marriage. And Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be in full support.
"Marriage is a recognition of love, and the state should not be in the business of discriminating," he told reporters Thursday while meeting with small business owners and members of the Chatham Business Association.
More than 75 Republican, Democrat and Independent mayors from cities across the country, including Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Mayor Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma, Mayor Annise Parker of Houston and Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego, will launch the Mayors for Freedom to Marry campaign.
Emanuel recalled working with President Barack Obama on an executive order after a woman was denied the opportunity to visit with her sick partner in a Florida hospital. In the memo, Obama instructed the health and human services secretary to draft new rules for hospitals that receive federal Medicare and Medicaid payments.
Rights like those, he said, which are automatically provided by marriage, should be available to everyone.
"There's a whole host of [rights that come with marriage] ... that we all ... take for granted, but it's discriminatory for others, and the policies should be different," he said. "It's the right thing and it's consistent with our values."
Emanuel told CNN during an interview last June he hopes Illinois moves in the direction of legalized same-sex marriage.
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