Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed sat down with Politics on Peach, a local news and politics show, to discuss his support for marriage equality. Mayor Reed has only recently endorsed full marriage equality, previously having only supported civil unions. In so doing, Mayor Reed tells the story of his own personal evolution on marriage equality, inviting other listeners examine what they believe and perhaps arrive on the side of equality.
It was only in December, when Mayor Reed announced that he supported marriage equality. Before December, the mayor had resisted marriage equality, pointing to that state's constitutional amendment that limited marriage equality as the will of the people. Even when President Obama came out in support of marriage equality in May of 2012, Mayor Reed wasn't yet ready to join the president.
However, by December, Mayor Reed was ready to announce his support. His office issued a press release that the mayor had signed onto a city council resolution that supported the city’s lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual community by endorsing marriage equality. The resolution later passed.
“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.”
The local CBS news show, Politics on Peach, recently sat down with Mayor Reed to ask him about his support. Mayor Reed outlines his evolution on the issue, which mirrors the journey that many allies go through. For those who look up to Mayor Reed, his story will be edifying and informative for their views on LGBT equality.
The host of Politics on Peach, Brandon Rudat, did ask a few questions that reinforced outdated stereotypes about LGBT people. He asked about the comparison between the present LGBT movement and the Civil Rights movement. He also talked about the supposed blanket opposition to LGBT equality by "the Black Church", a misnomer because of the variety of strands of African-American Christians, who all have various levels of support for LGBT equality.
Fortunately, Mayor Reed was able to speak from a place of personal conviction, and as a Black, straight man who represents Atlanta, which is itself a gay black mecca in the heartland of civil rights movement. Because of his position, he is able to draw strands of history and present culture together and remind viewers that acceptance continues to grow in all populations and sectors of life.
The LGBT movement is fortunate to have an ally in Mayor Kasim Reed. He is someone who can articulate how he came to support the LGBT community, and not afraid to share it with the media. He breaks stereotypes, and continues to work for equality.