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|Mayor Reed to meet with LGBT activists to talk gay marriage|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|June 20, 2012 09:05|
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will sit down with five local LGBT activists to discuss marriage equality. The private meeting is set for June 27.
Charlie Stadtlander, who started a Facebook page titled, "Mayor Reed, It's Time to Evolve on Marriage Equality," said the mayor recently agreed to the meeting. The mayor will be meeting with Stadtlander; state House candidate Ken Britt; Lawrie Demorest of Alston & Bird; Pator Dennis Meredith of Tabernacle Baptist Church; and attorney Doug Brooks, who is married and has children.
The mayor's office confirmed this morning the meeting is taking place.
"It's important to let the community know the mayor has agreed to meet with us in an intimate setting for an honest and frank discussion of why this issue is so important," Stadtlander said.
Stadtlander created the Facebook page after President Barack Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage, urging the mayor to do so as well.
"Mayor Reed's support of marriage equality would be a huge symbolic gesture but also sends the message he believes we are not second class citizens," Stadtlander added. "And his support on this issue would also give validation to young people to know it's OK to be who they are."
After Obama went on national TV to publicly state his support for same-sex marriage after he said he was "evolving" on the issue, people began asking Reed to do the same.
Reed, a LGBT ally during his terms in the state House and Senate, has always supported civil unions but said recently he was still struggling with the issue of supporting full marriage equality.
“I respect President Obama’s decision to stand in support of marriage equality. I have fought hard for the rights of gays and lesbians my entire political career from protecting adoption rights for gay and lesbian families, to voting against Georgia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as a state senator, to serving as the state house sponsor for the only hate crimes bill ever passed in the state of Georgia,” Reed said in a statement.
“While I am still wrestling with my own personal beliefs on the issue of marriage, I deeply appreciate the contributions gays and lesbians make to our city every single day and I remain committed to Atlanta’s vibrant and diverse LGBT community,” he said.
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