Wednesday, December 07, 2005

North Carolina's first openly gay mayor leaves office

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From the Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, NC): Aldermen take oath of office BY CHASE BECK STAFF WRITER December 07, 2005 In a room filled with family, friends, supporters and well-wishers, Carrboro’s newly elected aldermen and mayor assembled for the first time Tuesday evening at Town Hall. New Mayor Mark Chilton, along with new Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell and returning Aldermen Jacquelyn Gist and John Herrera took oath. The meeting opened with a farewell from Carrboro’s former Mayor Mike Nelson, who recounted his experience during the last 10 years on the job. Nelson emotionally described his work and his pride in being North Carolina’s first openly gay mayor and enacting the first domestic partner rights in the state. “From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of gay and lesbian people who cannot be here tonight, I thank you,” he said. “The steps we had the courage to take here first have had a real impact on the gay and lesbian community.” Diana McDuffee, who stepped down as mayor pro tem after 10 years on the board, described the board’s great accomplishments through Nelson’s leadership. “I’ve come to respect his thoughtfulness,” she said. “I believe he’ll make many more valuable contributions to Carrboro.” Gist emphasized that Nelson’s contributions extend far beyond the gay community, describing him as a very hardworking, administrative mayor who happens to be gay. To read the full article click here