Atlanta became the latest city on Tuesday to pass a resolution in support of marriage equality.
“There’s a difference that’s meaningful between marriage and civil unions, and the rights that come with marriage,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told Thomas Roberts on MSNBC Thursday morning. “If you really believe in equal protection, then gay and lesbian couples deserve the same equal protection under the Constitution as I do or you do.”
This announcement comes seven months after Reed issued a statement declaring he was still “wresting with [his] own personal beliefs” after President Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage.
Reed said his decision to back this new resolution comes after months of talking with the LGBT community as well as his colleagues and family members. “My evolvement, if you will, really occurred around moving from civil unions to being comfortable with marriage. That’s where I ended up, and I intend to carry that message all over Georgia.”
Georgia is currently one of 31 states with constitutional amendments that ban same-sex marriages. Reed said he knows it will take time for the entire state of Georgia to come around, but he believes Atlanta’s resolution is the first step, and he hopes his evolution can inspire others to do the same.
“I think it’s listening to people I know and care about,” he said about his affirmation of support. “That’s how authentic and genuine chance occurs.”