WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Monday, May 15, the city of West Hollywood swore in John Heilman as its new Mayor and John J. Duran as its new Mayor Pro Tempore, according to a press release from Joshua Schare, Public Information Officer for the city of West Hollywood.
City Clerk Yvonne Quarker administered the Oath of Office ceremony during the annual City Council Reorganization and Installation meeting, at the City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room at the West Hollywood Library. A community reception took place on the second floor of the library after the meeting.
Mayor Heilman and Mayor Pro Tempore Duran serve as two of the three openly gay members on the five-member City Council. The newly elected Councilmembers will serve terms of 3 years and 8 months.
Mayor Heilman, one of the longest-serving openly gay elected officials in the U.S., has served as a Councilmember since West Hollywood was incorporated as a city in 1984. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California (USC) and master’s degrees in Public Administration and Real Estate Development from the Price School of Public Policy at USC. He is a professor at the Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and the USC Law School. Heilman served as the second mayor of West Hollywood in 1985, and again in 1990, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2006, and 2010. He helped develop the city’s Community Housing Corporation, Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of HIV and AIDS, according to his website.
Mayor Pro Tempore John J. Duran, a native Angeleno, has been a West Hollywood resident since 1990. Duran holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Western State University College of Law in Orange County and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University Long Beach (CSULB). He has been a lawyer in private practice since 1987 and an elected member of the City Council since 2001, when he served as Vice-Chair of the Rent Stabilization Commission. He has represented more than 1,000 clients with AIDS facing a range of issues at his law firm, which is known for supporting Gay and Lesbian Rights. Duran is also an advocate of human rights and drug and alcohol recovery.
West Hollywood is one of the most outspoken and prominent advocates for the legal rights of the LGBT community. The city was one of the first in the country to support marriage equality and spurred same-sex marriage initiatives throughout the U.S. After the California Supreme Court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, West Hollywood began performing civil ceremonies and issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The city was forced to stop in November 2008, when Proposition 8, which prohibited same-sex marriage, was passed.
In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal in Hollingsworth v. Perry, allowing same-sex marriages in California. West Hollywood Councilmembers and City officials performed hundreds of civil ceremonies during a rally in celebration of the ruling. In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right in all states.
For additional information about the West Hollywood City Council, please call (323) 848-6460. For people who are deaf or hearing impaired, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.