by: Sophia Choi Updated:ATLANTA —
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will soon hit the campaign trail for marriage equality.
Reed got a standing ovation Monday as he helped the national organization, Freedom to Marry, launch a $1 million campaign for marriage equality in the south.
“Georgians support the freedom to marry. In a poll conducted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2013, 48 percent of Georgians said same
-sex couples should be able to marry in our state , a higher number of support than opposition,” Reed said.
In the crowd, same
-sex couples like Allison and Tiffany White shared their stories with Channel 2’s Sophia Choi.
“Being afraid to hold hands, even in Atlanta, sometimes just because of the looks and everything," said Allison White.
One woman says she's lucky she got married in another state before her wife's recent death. Otherwise, she and her children wouldn't qualify for federal benefits.
“Nobody knows you kind of need it, but actually going through the process of having all those protections
-, it just made a difference in my life and my kids' life," said Lisa Wilson.
The money for the $1 million campaign is coming from private donations. That money will be used to get the conversation going about marriage equality in the south, through ads and social media.
Reed said he'll also do his part by reaching out to other mayors in the south and lawmakers at the state capitol. He wants the state to pass a bill to at least recognize marriages licenses from other states.
“That would be the appropriate starting point because I think that it's entirely reasonable," Reed said.
Reed said those who are still against marriage equality fall into a category, mainly middle-aged or older residents, and those who live in rural areas.