Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed did his first national interview discussing his decision to change his stance on Gay Marriage today on MSNBC.
Reed made an announcement earlier this week, stating he went through considerable personal reflection on the issue and changed his mind after discussions with Atlanta’s lesbian and gay communities, as well as his own father and chief of staff.
“This seems to me to be a natural place to be,” Reed said.
“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.”
Video of Mayor Reed’s interview below…
My evolvement, if you will, really occurred around moving from civil unions to being comfortable with marriage. And that’s where I ended up, and I intend to carry that message all over Georgia.
Reed also offered new detail on how his longtime friendship with Atlanta attorney Lee Schreter and her partner informed his switch:
They invited me to their wedding in New York and I was conflicted. I did not go because I would have felt like a hypocrite. But it did cause me to think more and more and then I talked to my dad, and he and I have been talking about this issue for some time. I also talked to my chief of staff who is a very religious woman.
And I concluded that there is a difference between marriage and civil unions, and rights that come with marriage. And if you really believe in equal protection, then gay and lesbian couples deserve the same equal protection under the Constitution that you do or I do.
There you have it. Mayor Reed is now on board to making Gay Marriage a reality in Georgia.