By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 18 2013 6:55 PM ET
Today marks the first anniversary of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, whose membership has increased more than threefold since the group’s launch.
The group, a project of Freedom to Marry, started with 80 mayors last year, and the number has now reached 291, with mayors from 32 states, notes The Huffington Post. The mayors sign a pledge in support of equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Its leaders are mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Annise Parker of Houston, and Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles,
A recent addition to the group is Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed, who told HuffPo his views on marriage equality had evolved. “There’s a difference between civil unions and the rights that come with marriage,” he said. “For many years I didn’t believe that there was a difference.”
The mayors’ effort is an important aspect of the fight for marriage equality, he added, because it “helps to create a space in time and an environment where more and more people in the more conservative parts of the United States can come, over time, to the conclusion that I did.” Read more here.