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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mayor Francis Slay Says LGBT Issues Will Be a Priority in Historic Fourth Term

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Slay in a No Hate promo. - VIA
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  • Slay in a No Hate promo.

It is officially official. After beating his challenger Lewis Reed in the March primary, winning against no one on the April 2 Election Day and going through his formal inauguration ceremony yesterday, Mayor Francis Slay has begun his fourth term -- making him the first mayor in St. Louis history to achieve this long of a run.

What's he going to do with four more years? (And maybe four more!)

One of his promises that caught our attention was his statement of a commitment to LGBT issues in St. Louis. How?

As part of his "sustainability" campaign theme, in the final weeks of the race, Slay emphasized his aim for inclusivity and outreach to the LGBT community.

Inauguration yesterday. - VIA TWITTER
  • via Twitter
  • Inauguration yesterday.

This idea emerged again in his inaugural speech yesterday. From a written version of his address:

I plan to see St. Louis as a global competitor, as an international trade hub, as an incubator of new companies; as a place of culture and the arts; as a magnet for immigrants, for entrepreneurs, for animal lovers, and for gays; as a city of parks and trails; and as the sort of place that figures in young people's dreams.

For too long, we have been anything but. For too long, our community has let itself be paralyzed by the tyranny of haters.

Daily RFT got a chance to briefly ask Slay about his priorities related to LGBT St. Louisans on election night.

While he didn't have many specifics, he referenced his so-called "five-year plan," which, in a section on equality and diversity, lists a goal to "maintain our premier Municipal Equality Index rating for LGBTQ." (St. Louis scored very well in a LGBT-friendly national ranking last year).

"We want to make sure that we maintain our very good standing in terms of LGBT issues in St. Louis," he said. "We got 100 points from the [Human Rights Campaign] and we're hoping to maintain that."

He continued, "We are going to work on continuing to make our city a city that embraces diversity and that includes our wonderful, very, very, valued LGBT community here in St. Louis that are contributing greatly to our culture, contributing greatly to our diversity, contributing greatly to the quality of our city."

We also asked Slay about the increasing number of elected officials locally and across the country coming out in favor of same-sex marriage.

Continue for more of our interview with Mayor Slay and for the full text of his speech.

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