September 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Rawlings-Blake announces she will not seek re-election

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore, Human Rights Campaign, gay news, Washington Blade

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Friday announced that she will not seek re-election in 2016.

Her announcement comes less than five months after the unrest that took place following Freddie Gray’s death from injuries he suffered while in police custody.

Rawlings-Blake’s administration earlier this week authorized a $6.4 million settlement with Gray’s family. A judge on Thursday ruled the trials of the six police officers who have been charged in connection with Gray’s death will take place in Baltimore.

“It was a very difficult decision, but I knew I needed to spend time, the remaining 15 months of my term, focused on the city’s future and not my own,” said Rawlings-Blake, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Rawlings-Blake, 45, took office in 2010 after then-Mayor Sheila Dixon resigned as part of a plea deal she reached with prosecutors who had charged her with corruption.

Rawlings-Blake was a prominent supporter of Maryland’s same-sex marriage law ahead of the 2012 referendum that upheld it. She hosted a mass wedding at Baltimore City Hall at midnight on Jan. 1, 2013, when the statute took effect.

Rawlings-Blake last summer told the Washington Blade in a statement in response to the murders of two transgender women of color in Baltimore that “the protection and advocacy for LGBT rights is a top priority.”

Dixon is among those who have entered the 2016 mayoral race.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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