Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed joins Mayors for the Freedom to Marry coalition
December 11, 2012
Today, Kasim Reed, mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, signed onto our Mayors for the Freedom to Marry coalition, which amplifies the voices of mayors across the country who support ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.
Mayor Reed released a statement today about his support for the freedom to marry. He said:
Today marks an important day as I announce my support for marriage equality. It is well known that I have gone through a good bit of reflection on this issue, but listening to the stories of so many people that I know and care about has strengthened my belief that marriage is a fundamental right for everyone. Loving couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, should have the right to marry whomever they want. By signing this resolution, I pledge my support to marriage equality for same-sex couples, consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. ... I believe in tolerance and acceptance, regardless of a person's race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. That creed has been a guiding force for me throughout my life, as reflected by my actions and votes as a lifelong Democrat and elected official in the state of Georgia for more than 14 years.
Freedom to Marry founder and President Evan Wolfson applauded Mayor Reed's support. Wolfson said:
Mayor Reed, like the more than 200 other Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, has his eye on the economic growth, prosperity, diversity, and opportunity that the families he serves cherish - and knows that including same-sex couples and their contributions in the community and in marriage strengthens the city and our country. As we build toward more wins in 2013, we welcome Mayor Reed's support at this crucial time in the freedom to marry movement, and are excited to work with him to make the case for the freedom to marry both in Atlanta and across America.
The mayor's announcement today comes less than a week after the Atlanta City Council overwhelmingly passed a resolution in favor of the freedom to marry.
Same-sex couples in Georgia do not currently have the freedom to marry. In 2004, anti-gay forces in the state pushed through a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, and other mechanisms of family status and relationship recognition. This movement from Mayor Reed and the Atlanta City Council signal significant shifts in Georgia, indicating that the anti-gay constitutional amendment is out of date and out of touch with many Georgians.
Mayor Reed joins 289 other mayors from 32 states across the country who have signed onto our Mayors for the Freedom to Marry coaltion, a broad-based and nonpartisan group of mayors who believe that all people should be able to share in the love and commitment of marriage. Led by Mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Annise Parker of Houston, Jerry Sanders of San Diego and Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the "Mayors for Marriage" hail from culturally, racially and geographically diverse cities - but they all share one important value: a common commitment to fairness.