The Convention & Visitors Bureau describes Saugatuck and Douglas as “harbor villages that celebrate diversity”. And the area is populated with liberal-minded voters who rejected a recent vote to ban gay marriage. This month Saugatuck/Douglas is preparing for a six-day gathering for dozens of gay and lesbian families by hanging rainbow flags in the downtown area.
Matt Balmer, 37, the mayor of Douglas says “it’s not a big deal”. “The moment you start to label people, you set them aside. I don’t view these families as different from any other kind of family. I don’t see this as any different from the Cub Scouts coming together.”
Douglas joins the ranks of other progressive U.S. mayors under 45 years old along with New Paltz, New York Mayor Jason West, 30 and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson, 40.