The Atlanta City Council approved a resolution Monday night sponsored by openly gay Councilman Alex Wan to support same-sex marriage. The Council’s resolution could set up a showdown with Mayor Kasim Reed who has previously opposed gay marriage, despite voting against Georgia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as a state senator.
It was the city’s second foray into the issue of same-sex marriage and its second into LGBT issues. In 2004, the Atlanta City Council voted 13-1 to state its opposition to the Georgia constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. And in 2006, Council voted 11-2 to support the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Since the state, rather than individual cities, must rule on marriage law, the resolution was most just a symbolic gesture, but Wan said he wanted to do something to show Atlanta’s support for LGBT families.
“Folks in the community have been asking and encouraging me to do something,” Wan told the Georgia Voice. “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.”
Mayor Reed met with local Atlanta LGBT activists earlier this year to discuss his own stance on LGBT rights and marriage equality, shortly after President Barack Obama expressed his new support of full marriage rights for same-sex couples. Though Reed touted his support of LGBT issues, he said he could not yet support marriage.
“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,” he said in June.