Salina, Kansas Mayor Barb Shirley is
the state's first mayor to join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry,
which supports gay marriage.
“I have zero tolerance for any
discrimination,” Shirley told the Salina
Journal. “As a mother, wife and community leader, I want
people to know that no matter who you are, you are loved and
deserving. I want all people to have the same civil rights. United
we stand, divided we fall. So I, Barb Shirley, stand for gay
Shirley was installed as mayor on April
More than 300 mayors have joined Mayors
for the Freedom to Marry, which launched last year with 80 mayors.
Members pledge to support marriage equality in their communities.
Robert Noland, director of the Kansas
Family Policy Council, called Shirley's move “unfortunate.”
“I think it is unfortunate the mayor
has decided this is a statement she wants to make when an
overwhelming amount of Kansans support marriage between one man and
one woman,” Noland said.
Nicole Collins-Bronzan, communications
director for Freedom to Marry, thanked Shirley for her support.
“Mayors for the Freedom to Marry is
one of our programs showcasing mayors from across the country that
support marriage,” she said. “We deploy our mayors as
spokespeople in the community. We are thrilled to have Mayor Shirley