Former New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston police commissioner Bill Bratton
and his wife, Rikki Klieman, join the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality
video series from the Human Rights Campaign, saying the issue is a
matter of "safety."
"I believe in law and order," says Bratton, who won widespread praise for reducing crime statistics in New York City in the 1990s. "I've spent my life working to keep communities safe. Marriage equality under the law will make families safer and stronger."
As a law enforcement official, Bratton brings a new voice to the video series, which has mainly featured prominent New Yorkers from the worlds of politics and arts and entertainment. The 30-second spots, which play online and on the city's Taxi TV, urge viewers to lobby their state lawmakers for marriage equality.
In an interview with The New York Times, Bratton explained his view that antigay violence, which is reported with regularity in New York City and elsewhere, stems from the lack of equality. The Boston native said that he served as a liaison to the LGBT community in that city's police department, and that his sister Patricia, a lesbian married in Massachusetts, has experienced "every type of discrimination."
In New York City, Bratton served under former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who opposes marriage
equality. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former mayors Ed Koch and David
Dinkins have contributed videos to the series.
"America's top cop wants all families to be safe," said Brian Ellner, senior strategist for HRC in New York. "That's why Bill Bratton supports basic fairness for all New Yorkers who want to marry the person that they love."
The marriage equality bill failed in the New York state senate in 2009. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to see another vote by June. Advocates hope to see the bill come up for consideration following the passage of an on-time state budget this week.