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AJC calls out Atlanta mayor for gay marriage ‘flip-flop’

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution and Politifact.com today released an analysis of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's recent embrace of same-sex marriages, calling the change of heart a “major reversal of position” and a political “flip-flop.”

Mayor Reed has been an advocate for LGBT causes during his time as mayor and as a state legislator, but instead of embracing the change of position, his comments on the article seem to indicate that he was in our corner the entire time. In truth, he was a friend and an advocate and supporter of civil unions, but he was not a supporter of marriage equality until quite recently.

From the mayor's official Facebook account this morning:

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Top local news of 2012: Atlanta backs marriage

Alex Wan and Kasim Reed

Whether it was the threat of the end of the world or just plain old fashioned holiday spirit — or most likely political timing — the month of December brought Atlanta officials together in a cornucopia of outspoken support for LGBT equality. 

First, on Dec. 3, the Atlanta City Council passed a resolution 11-2 stating its support for same-sex marriage. The resolution was introduced by Alex Wan, the only openly gay council member, after months of discussion with his colleagues about the difference between civil unions and marriage equality.

Wan, who represents District 6, said he pushed for the resolution because it was “the right thing to do.”

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Atlanta mayor promises to change conversation on gay marriage in Ga.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

When Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called Lee Schreter on Dec. 11 to tell her was announcing publicly his support of marriage equality, she whooped out loud.

“And I had a smile pasted on my face the rest of the day,” she recalled.

Schreter first met Reed about 15 years ago when Reed began working as a new attorney at the same firm where she was a partner. Over the years, Reed became close friends with Schreter and her partner, De Linda Bunnell, who have been together 31 years and were married last year in New York.

Reed credits Schreter with being perhaps the most influential person in his recent decision to support marriage equality rather than just civil unions.

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Symbolic resolution puts council ahead of Atlanta mayor on gay rights

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The Atlanta City Council voted 11-2 on Dec. 3 to pass a resolution supporting marriage equality. The vote puts the council ahead of Mayor Kasim Reed, who has stated publicly he does not support marriage rights for same-sex couples.

City Councilmember Alex Wan, who is gay, presented the resolution to the full City Council.

“Folks in the community have been asking and encouraging me to do something. And with Atlanta being the city it is and having such a large LGBT population, I really wanted us to be one of the leaders in the discussion on marriage equality,” Wan said. “This was also very important to me.”

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Creative Loafing joins call for Atlanta mayor to embrace marriage equality

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Today, Creative Loafing Atlanta writer Andrew Alexander penned a wonderful opinion piece on Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and his continuing to drag his feet on the issue of same-sex marriage.

After President Barack Obama expressed his opinion that same-sex couples should be given the same rights as heterosexual couples earlier this year, local eyes turned to Reed, arguably the state's most prominent Democrat.

Reed's stance on the issue was the cover story of our May 25 issue (and one of my personal favorites) after local activists created a social media campaign calling on the mayor to “evolve” on the issue.

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Atlanta mayor to meet again with activists on gay marriage

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed would like to meet again this month with a group of LGBT advocates who want him to endorse full marriage rights for same-sex couples. The mayor suggested the second meeting after a discussion held June 27 at City Hall.

“I would compare it to somebody coming out, that he has got to take time to think about what is meaningful to him. This was an educational process and he was very open and it was a very warm and friendly discussion,” said Ken Britt, one of the activists who met with Reed, after the June meeting. “In fact he has offered to have a follow up session in July to talk more about this.”

Reed has been under increasing pressure to voice support for marriage equality after President Barack Obama announced his support in May.

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Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board seeks new members

Three seats are open on the Atlanta Police Department’s LGBT Advisory Board after two-year terms expired.

The board, founded in 2010 by Mayor Kasim Reed during the fallout of the unconstitutional Atlanta Eagle raid, allows two-year terms for members.

Those not seeking to renew their terms are Terence McPhaul, executive director of YouthPride; Betty Couvertier, radio host for Alternative Perspectives; and Ebonee Bradford Barnes, who has been absent for four meetings.

Those who wish to remain on the board are current chairperson Glen Paul Freedman; Josh Noblitt of St. Mark United Methodist Church; AID Atlanta Executive Director Tracy Elliott; Melissa Carter; and Philip Rafshoon.

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An open letter to Mayor Kasim Reed on marriage equality

Dear Mayor Reed,

Not quite three years ago, in November 2009, you and I sat across a conference room table in the office of the weekly gay newspaper where I served as editor. You were there to interview for our endorsement in the Atlanta mayoral election.

Your opponent in the race, Mary Norwood, had sat at the same table, for the same reason. She supported same-sex couples’ right to marry. You did not. You chalked it up to your personal religious beliefs, but couldn’t really explain why — given the separation of church and state — religious beliefs should play a role in setting public policy.