Breaking News

Salina mayor joins group supporting gay marriage

Updated: 2013-04-25T23:40:08Z

The Associated Press

— Six months after Salina residents voted to repeal anti-discrimination protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation, the city’s new mayor has joined a national group of mayors who support gay marriage.

Mayor Barb Shirley is the first Kansas mayor to join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, the Salina Journal reported. More than 350 other mayors across the country belong to the group.

“I have zero tolerance for any discrimination,” Shirley said Wednesday. “As a mother, wife and community leader, I want people to know that no matter who you are, you are loved and deserving. I want all people to have the same civil rights. United we stand, divided we fall, so I, Barb Shirley, stand for gay rights.”

Shirley, Vice Mayor Aaron Householter and Commissioner Kaye Crawford helped pass Salina’s protections from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on gender identity and sexual orientation last year.

After Salina residents and the Wichita-based Kansas Family Policy Council circulated petitions to have the issue placed on the November ballot, the protections were rescinded 54.2 percent to 45.8 percent.

Gary Martens of Salina, chairman of the north central chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition, said the group appreciates Shirley’s support.

Robert Noland, director of the Kansas Family Policy Council, said he was surprised by Shirley’s decision after Salina residents voted to repeal the protections.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here