CHARLOTTE — Mayors from across the state will flock to the Queen City this week for their annual N.C. Metropolitan Mayors Coalition fall meeting. Several events are scheduled on Thursday and Friday, including a legislative awards ceremony, anniversary dinner and tours of the city.
Also scheduled is a Friday breakfast meeting with guest speaker and local state Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg.
Rucho was one of several sponsors of an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment banning marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. The amendment was placed on the May 8, 2012, ballot by legislators in September.
The N.C. Metropolitan Mayors Coalition has not taken a position on the amendment, according to Director Julie White.
Despite the statewide group’s official silence, some cities represented by its member mayors have spoken out against the measure. City councils in Asheville, Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Durham each passed resolutions opposing the measure.
Additionally, the coalition’s chair, Durham Mayor Bill Bell, along with other coalition mayors, signed on to a September letter opposing the amendment. At the time, the mayors and county leaders said the amendment would threaten their municipalities’ abilities to grant benefits and protections to their employees and their partners.
The North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Coalition includes the leaders of municipalities with populations over 30,000 and the mayors of the state’s 27 largest cities. Founded in 2001, the coalition promotes the interchange of ideas and experiences among municipal officials for the continued development of urban areas. In addition, the coalition works with state officials to encourage the expansion of urban areas as livable environmentally sound and economically viable.