Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Now Supports Gay Marriage

The lawmaker says he has "evolved."

Posted: 12/12/2012 05:02 PM EST
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Like President Obama before him, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has "evolved" on the issue of same-sex marriage. Earlier this week, he issued a press release announcing his support.

"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," the statement read. "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.”

When Obama came out for marriage equality, Reed was still "wrestling" with it. At the time, there was a lot of push back from many Black communities, and some ministers even suggested parishioners might not vote for the president based on his stance. African-American voters also seem to be coming around.

Still, Reid says his announcement is not politically motivated.

“This seems to me to be natural place to be,” Reed told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “Candidly I didn’t feel any pressure … if I wanted to play politics, I would have done it when I was in third place in the mayoral election [in 2009] and in front of the gay and lesbian community saying I was not supportive of marriage equality. … As a result of that I suffered great political harm.”

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(Photo: Moses Robinson/Getty Images for NBCUniversal)

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