Philadelphia, November 5, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter released the following statement thanking Philadelphians for voting to make permanent the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs.
“On Tuesday, nearly 86,000 Philadelphians made their voice heard and voted in favor of amending the Philadelphia City Charter to make permanent the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, which works tirelessly on behalf of our great City’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. This was a historic and unprecedented move to institutionalize the decades of advancement, advocacy, equality and inclusion for our LGBT citizens championed in this city by community activists, allies and government officials.
The establishment of a permanent LGBT Affairs office ensures that Philadelphia will remain a national leader for municipal equality and that through policy and practice City-wide the rights of every citizen will be protected and supported. While this is a great step forward, we still have work to do to achieve true equality, equity and inclusion.
From my time as a Councilman through my tenure as Mayor, I’ve fought proudly on behalf of LGBT citizens. I want to thank Philadelphia’s voters for embracing the diversity that makes our city a great place to live, work and visit and for improving the lives of all residents, today and in the future, with their vote.”
The Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs was established by Mayor Michael A. Nutter in 2008, under the leadership of its first Director, Gloria Casarez. Over the years, the Office of LGBT Affairs has played an important role in educating the public and outreach to the community, advising the Administration on public policy and serving as a liaison to other City agencies and departments. Nellie Fitzpatrick is the current Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs.
For each of the last two years, Philadelphia has been named the highest-ranking big city in the United States for LGBT equality in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index: A Nationwide Evaluation of Municipal Law.