Pro-gay Utah mayor criticizes "Marriage Week USA"
February 10 2004 12:00 AM ET
Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson said he is boycotting a state-supported declaration to advocate and celebrate traditional marriage because it excludes single parents, divorced parents, and gay families, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Anderson, a two-time divorcee, single father, and member of a national group that promotes same-sex marriage, called the declaration "insensitive." He was invited, along with his nonexistent spouse, to attend Friday's kickoff to Marriage Week USA, which starts Saturday. Gov. Olene Walker and other mayors will sign a declaration promoting marriage. The state has participated in Marriage Week for the past 11 years. Last year's declaration, signed by former governor Mike Leavitt, noted that marriage "provides irreplaceable personal happiness" and "creates the safest
place for children to flourish."
"It sends a rather insensitive message of exclusion to those who have different kinds of families," Anderson told the Tribune. "We ought to all join together and try to support each other, encourage good, stable, loving relationships among people in all kinds of familial relationships. I, like most other people, have always wanted to have a partner to share life with, to build a history with. To assume that only those who are presently in a married relationship value families is a hugely mistaken notion." Anderson recently accepted a post as a key spokesman for the national gay rights group Freedom to Marry.