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Adams helps launch national Freedom to Marry campaign

Gay mayors from across nation plan Washington, D.C., rally

Mayor Sam Adams is taking his politics to a national stage.

On Friday, he'll be in Washington, D.C., with more than 75 other U.S. city leaders to help launch 'Mayors for the Freedom to Marry,' a campaign to win gay marriage nationwide.

In 2008, Adams became the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city. Although Adams' name was not included in a Thursday news release about Freedom to Marry, he will indeed be part of the campaign launch, says his communications director, Amy Ruiz.

'I know he'll be at the event; I'm not sure why he's not listed (though just a fraction of the 75 who've signed on are listed),' Ruiz said.

Ruiz said Adams would already be in Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting.

Friday morning, Ruiz says, Adams will send an advisory saying: 'Portland is the home to many loving gay and lesbian couples who are in committed, long-term relationships, and who contribute to our communities. Cities that celebrate and cultivate diversity are the places where creative people and ideas can thrive. They are the places where today's entrepreneurs are most likely to build the businesses of tomorrow. Allowing same-sex couples to marry enhances our ability to build this kind of environment, which is good for all of us.'

Friday morning's event in Washington, D.C., includes a coalition of 75-plus Republican, Democrat and Independent mayors from cities across the U.S. who have pledged to support gay and lesbian couples' freedom to marry.

'By joining the group, mayors hope to expand public and political support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage,' according to the Freedom to Marry coalition.

A few of the participating mayors include Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Annise Parker of Houston, Annise Parker of Houston and Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma.

The coalition is led by mayors Jerry Sanders of San Diego, Thomas Menino of Boston, Michael Bloomberg of New York, and U.S. Conference of Mayors President Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.

Freedom to Marry, a nonprofit launched in 2003 to work on legislation for same-sex marriage, is led by Marc Solomon, the group's national campaign director.

For more information, www.freedomtomarry.org.