Religious tolerance is a vital part of a democratic society. But religious rules should never dictate society’s laws. Some religions prohibit eating pork. Others prohibit drinking alcohol. Others prohibit divorce. That is their right. But we reject any attempt to impose those prohibitions on society, because the freedom to engage in those activities should be no less protected. The same is true of same-sex marriage.
New York City embodies America’s commitment to freedom and opportunity, diversity and tolerance, and that is why we remain such a magnet for immigrants, visitors and investors. People want to live in places where they are free to be themselves – to practise their religion as they wish, to express their political views as they wish, and to love and marry whom they wish.
Cities and countries that actively protect those freedoms will attract talented and creative people who wish to live freely, fostering a culture – and economy – that is stronger for it. As a mayor, I know that legalising same-sex marriage has sharpened New York City’s competitive edge in the global economy, because it has made us an even more attractive place to live and work – not just for gay men and women, but for all people who want to live in a tolerant and free community. And as someone whose company is building a new European headquarters in London, I can say that same-sex marriage would make the UK an even more attractive place for companies to do business, because freedom attracts talent.