Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed joins a growing list of mayors who support gay marriage.
On Monday Reed announced, for the first time, he supports gay marriage.
"I am just doing what I think is right," Reed said. "It took me some time to evolve on this issue. I was a long-time supporter of civil unions. But, I believe in equal protection under the Constitution and gay and lesbian couples should have the same rights that you and I have."
Reed made the announcement during a news conference with the pro-gay marriage group Southerners for the Freedom to Marry. Reed played a key role in kicking off a $1 million campaign that seeks to build and grow majority support for the freedom to marry in the South.
Reed said he understands that he has placed himself in the middle of a heated topic. Many conservative southerners believe gay marriage is condemned in the Bible. Reed said he isn't worried about public opinion.
"I will put my religious beliefs up against anybody," Reed said. "I love Jesus, and I love God. But, I also know what the Golden Rule says and I believe I am living the Golden Rule. I also happen to believe I am on the right side of history. And in five, 10, or 15 years the folks on the other side of this issue will regret where they stood."
Proponents of gay marriage said having Reed come forward gives their cause more momentum.
"I think it is very important to have a mayor of a very large city, especially in the South, and here in Georgia," Glen Paul Freedman said.
Freedman is the chairman of the board of directors for Georgia Equality.
"We are very happy he is 100 percent behind same-sex marriage in Georgia," Freedman said.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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