msnbc | December 13, 2012
>>> journal" poll shows the support for equality in marriage. the last time polled, 51% to 40%. now a majority rule . the majority saying if their home state passed the law, they would support it. a key obama supporter mayor just came out. kasim reed , it's great to have you with us today. the atlantic city council recently passed a resolution in support of marriage equality . did that come out and force your hand to support marriage equality ?
>> no, not at all, i've been a longstanding member of equality for lbgt. i voted against the ban on gay marriage . i was quite comfortable with civil unions and just went through my own process along with close friends of mine , one of whom has been in a 30-year relationship. is married. a friend of mine who has been a friend for more than 14 years. and the resolution really giev me the opportunity to focus on the issue and think about it. and there is a difference that is meaningful between civil unions and marriage. and that's why i made the decision that i did. but i'm not new to supporting lbgt rights and interest.
>> city council alex vaughan sent me a personal statement . he is the city councilman who passed the resolution. he said, both the city council and mayor take a bold statement on this issue. as an african-american man and a political leader with a bright future in the democratic party , sir, can you explain how you were able to evolve on this issue, and how you think your evolvement will help a state like georgia ?
>> well, i think it's listening to the people that i know and care about. that's how a genuine change occurs. i happen to have a friend of mine , a woman named lee schrader who i have known since practicing law in 1995 . i also know her wife melinda, and they're a wonderful couple. they invited me to their wedding that new york. and i was conflicted. i did not go because i would have felt like a hypocrite. it did make me think more and more. then i talked to my dad and he and i talked and 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 that if you really believe in equal protection , then gay and lesbian couples deserve the same equal protection under the constitution as i do, or you do.
>> as we look at the georgia constitution , though, there is amendment 1 which forbids marriage equality . what does that mean in georgia ? are you going to work to amend that constitutional law ?
>> i think it sends a significant signal as the mayor of a capital city , it will take time. i believe this is the first step. as i said that amendment passed in 2004 and i voted against it in 2004 because i thought it was wrong to but discrimination in the constitution. my evolvement, if you will, really kurd 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 .
>> thanks for joining us. i really appreciate your time.
>> thank you, thomas.
>> absolutely. just a programming note