Kasim Reed, it’s time to end marriage cowardice

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READ MORE | The mayor responded to this article: Kasim Reed ‘still wrestling’ with gay marriage

With President Obama declaring his support for same-sex marriage, you might think the gay nuptials train is leaving the station. But Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed isn’t hitching a ride just yet.

All the cool kids are backing gay marriage this week.

Joe Biden did it.

So did Clay Aiken.

Barack Obama joined in.

Civil Rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis reiterated his support.

So did Rev. Joseph Lowery, another legend of the Civil Rights movement, in an interview with 11Alive. (video).

Even the Democratic Party of Georgia – long absent on issues of LGBT equality — offered its support. “It’s simply wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, from marrying,” Party Chair Mike Berlon says.

Kasim Reed? No comment.

Reed’s lack of support for gay marriage, despite longstanding work on other important LGBT issues, nearly derailed his efforts to become mayor in 2009. Not that it stopped him from reminding voters on CNN that his view on marriage is that whole one guy, one gal thing.

Reed is also one of the few holdouts among big city mayors to sign on to the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry movement. Even a Republican joined the effort.

But when presented with a chance on Wednesday to react to Obama’s declaration, maybe even lay the groundwork ahead of his re-election campaign next year for coming out in support of gay marriage, Reed offered the AJC a big fat no comment.

Likewise, the president’s decision could prove uncomfortable for dedicated Obama supporter Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed — whose opposition to gay marriage during his 2009 race became a sensitive topic in an extremely close contest. Reed, who stands for re-election in 2013, declined to comment Wednesday.

Mr. Mayor, it’s time to get on the gay marriage train with Obama, Lewis and Lowery.


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