Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (File photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for NBCUniversal)
ATLANTA -- Mayor Kasim Reed issued a press release Tuesday, supporting marriage equality.
Reed signed the resolution sponsored by Councilman Alex Wan and passed by the City Council on Dec. 3.
The resolution supports the city's lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual community by endorsing marriage equality for same-sex couples.
"Today marks an important day as I announce my support for marriage equality," said Mayor Reed. "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."
During his term in the Georgia House of Representatives, Mayor Reed sponsored the only hate crimes bill ever to pass the General Assembly and defended the LGBT community's right to adopt children.
As a co-sponsor for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Mayor Reed proposed a measure that would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian and nonreligious employers.
In 2004, Mayor Reed also voted against the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Georgia.
The resolution approved by the Council and signed by Mayor Reed cites Atlanta's support of policies that protect equal rights for all citizens, as well as the city's numerous provisions that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by businesses, stores, hotels, restaurants and other public accommodations, and in housing sales and rentals.
The City Code also prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in the city's employment decisions, and the city offers its employees the ability to enroll a domestic partner for health insurance coverage and to name a domestic partner as a pension beneficiary.
The City of Atlanta has one of the highest LGBT populations in the country based on U.S. Census and other data.
Mayor Reed also announced that he will join other leading mayors who have already signed the 'Mayors for Freedom to Marry' pledge. Mayors for the Freedom to Marry is 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.