Former Springfield Mayor and candidate for Governor's Council Michael J. Albano on Thursday highlighted his record on gay rights.
Albano, who served as Springfield's 52nd Mayor from 1996-2004 stated, "I am very proud of the record of achievement regarding civil rights during my eight years as Mayor; and, in leading the fight to achieve equal rights for citizens of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community."
Mayor Albano attended the Flag Raising at Springfield City Hall Thursday in recognition of Springfield Pride Week. Mayor Albano organized the inaugural event for the gay and lesbian community in June, 1996.
In highlighting his record, the candidate for Governor's Council noted the following;
1/1/1996: First Mayor in Springfield's history to appoint a liaison to the gay and lesbian community.
1/9/1996: Authored and signed an Executive Order for "Extension of Certain Personnel Benefits" for Domestic Partners for City Employees, the first such Executive Order authorized by a Mayor in Massachusetts.
6/28/1996: Mayor Albano declares Gay Pride Day in the City, the first such recognition in the City's history.
12/5/1996: Accepted a State Grant creating the Gay/Straight Alliance at Central High School.
4/10/1997: Authored and signed an Executive Order "Extending Health Care Benefits" for Domestic Partners for City Employees, the first such Executive Order authorized by a Mayor in Massachusetts.
5/09/2002: Lead Plaintiff in lawsuit before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts challenging the Attorney General's certification of an initiative petition to amend the Constitution to provide that "only the union of one man and one women shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Massachusetts."
Mayor Albano stated, "today, civil rights and marriage equality remains a battle across America. I am pleased to have played a small role in the fight for equality during my tenure as Mayor. Hopefully, these acts sent a message across Massachusetts that all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation shall be entitled to equal rights granted under our Constitution."
The former Mayor went on to say "while the battle is not over, great progress has been made since the first Flag raising in 1996 at City Hall."