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Welcome to the evolution, Mayor Reed

Timothy Kincaid

December 11th, 2012

In 2009 I was concerned about the election of Kasim Reed as Atlanta Mayor. He had stated his position on marriage to be one of opposition and, upon election, found that “the voters have spoken”. He had “religious beliefs”. Coming so soon after a raid on an Atlanta gay bar, this was concerning.

At some point in 2010, I began to warm slightly to Reed. His public support for HIV testing was, I believe, helpful and useful. And he has made attempts to connect with the community in the period since.

Yet, when President Obama came out in support of equality, Reed found himself unready. He had “personal beliefs“.

But those beliefs have become increasingly difficult to maintain while seeking advancement in Democratic Party politics. As James Richardson noted last June:

Eleven words. That was all it took to rock Reed’s almost-assured contender status for that inevitable statewide bid: “I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”

But Maine and Washington and Maryland (Maryland!) has voted for equality, and now Mayor Reed has joined the evolution:

Mayor Kasim Reed today announced his support for marriage equality by signing a resolution sponsored by Councilman Alex Wan and passed by the City Council on Dec. 3, 2012. 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.”

And his support is welcomed.

Comments

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StraightGrandmother
December 11th, 2012 | LINK

Well that is pretty good news Tim. A large city southern State mayor coming out for Civil Marriage for Sexual Minorities is terrific. Really terrific.

Ben in Oakland
December 11th, 2012 | LINK

The cynic in me cant help but wonder if this is merely political opportunism, but thats justthe cynic in me.I guess evolution can happen in even places that seem not to believe in evolution.

Hyhybt
December 11th, 2012 | LINK

“A large city southern State mayor coming out for Civil Marriage for Sexual Minorities is terrific. Really terrific.”—It is, so far as that goes. But there’s no way to overstate how much more liberal Atlanta is in general than the rest of the state.

Meanwhile, in his primary campaign, our current *governor* ran a TV ad accusing his opponent, not even of supporting marriage and I don’t remember precisely, but basically of not being anti-gay enough. (Her response of “am too!” wasn’t particularly reassuring either.)

I’m glad when anyone makes the decision the mayor did, especially someone that public (and who might sometime run for other offices; I believe his current position is term-limited) but what we really need are legislators who feel the same way. And, of course, saying so is still, in most districts, a good way to ensure you don’t get that job.

customartist
December 12th, 2012 | LINK

Scalia is at least credible as it relates to his positions.

I had not known Reed’s specific stance, nor his other general positions, before reading this. My limited perception was that he is rather bright.

That being said, authentic or not, statements such as these do help to move the country in a positive direction, and for this, I am appreciative.

The PROOF however (of how he actually legislates), is in the proverbial pudding.

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