At last week’s U.S. Conference of Mayors, nearly 80 of those in attendance voiced their support for marriage equality. In that number: mayors of places like Lima, Ohio and Hallandale Beach, Florida. New Orleans didn’t make the cut.
Now, I like Mitch Landrieu. I like him a lot. He’s one of the smartest men I’ve ever met, and in less than two years, New Orleans has seen more improvement than it did in its eight-year-long love/hate (but mostly hate) relationship with He Who Shall Not Be Named. But given the size of New Orleans’ LGBT population, you’d think Landrieu might be able to come out in support of marriage equality.
New Orleans has a huge gay base, and we’re surrounded by a warm and welcoming straight community (so long as you don’t count parts of Kenner). As a matter of fact, in a recent poll of travelers taken by American Airlines, New Orleans was named one of the world’s top 10 gay destinations, alongside London, New York, Tel Aviv, and Toronto.
Of course, I know Landrieu didn’t ride into office on a platform of LGBT rights. New Orleans’ queer community is so old and entrenched that gay rights might seem like a non-issue. But we’re here, we’re queer, and we would like some support, please. And let’s not make excuses about Louisiana’s state law forbidding gay marriage: mayors from Texas and Alaska and Michigan and Minnesota were on that list, and they’re in the same boat.
So I ask: Mayor Landrieu, where is the gay love?