Marriage equality proponents launch campaign in the South - KCTV5

Marriage equality proponents launch campaign in the South

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Mayor Kasim Reed and Southern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equality groups joined with Freedom to Marry Monday to launch a $1 million multi-state campaign to build majority support for marriage in the South.

Southerners for the Freedom to Marry is a first-of-its-kind major public education effort to build majority support for marriage across Georgia and in the South.

Bipartisan co-chairs across the region include civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who kicked off the campaign in a web ad; U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA); and George W. Bush advisor Mark McKinnon from Texas.

"Our investment in the South comes at a pivotal time in the marriage movement," said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. "The South is home to hundreds of thousands of loving, committed same-sex couples – and to a majority of the nearly 50 federal marriage cases now underway in courts across the country. Our new campaign will give voice to the many in the region now ready to move forward, including clergy, business leaders, conservatives, and family members, to show that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry."

The campaign spans Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Not every public official stands with Lewis and Reed.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, an ally of Reed, has said that marriage is between a man and woman.

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