ST. LOUIS – Scores of LGBT supporters packed Lombardo’s Trattoria at Union Station, Jan. 17 for an evening of fundraising and support for Mayor Francis Slay who is seeking an historic fourth term. The evening was organized by Judge Joe Murphy, Jim Walsh and host committee.
In remarks to supporters, Mayor Slay reaffirmed his support for LGBT equality and publicly thanked his openly gay siblings. His honor recalled standing against the Missouri Marriage Amendment in 2004 and reminded the room that St. Louis was the only municipality in the state to vote down the anti-gay measure. He went on to state that he was proud to join Mayor’s for the Freedom to Marry last year and applauded the city of St. Louis for its ranking in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.
Also giving brief remarks was Shane Cohn, St. Louis' first openly gay alderman, who is running unopposed this year. Cohn said that the city of St. Louis is “walking the talk” when it comes to equality in making funds available to St. Louis LGBT organizations like SAGE and The LGBT Center of St. Louis.
“Thank you all for what you do for our city,” Mayor Slay told the capacity crowd. “I can’t thank you enough for your support of me; I appreciate it very, very much. I do not and will not take this for granted. I will be there for you every step of the way on every issue you have an interest in. That is my pledge to you and I look forward to another four years of moving this city forward.”
Terry Laupp and Chad Carroll, founders of the St. Louis Balloon Brigade, ended the evening by presenting Slay with a commemorative St. Louis Pride Flag which was marched down South Grand at last year’s St. Louis Pride Parade.
Lombardo’s Trattoria, housed in the old Railroad Y.M.C.A. building at 201 S. 20th St., is an LGBT landmark, of sorts. The address was the site of the old Bob Martin’s Disco Complex in the 1970s and 80s.
The St. Louis Mayoral Primary will take place on March 5.
By COLIN MURPHY – EDITOR