Houston's Annise Parker speaks at the launch of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry
Mayors' Marriage Equality Group Grows Threefold in First Year

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.