COLUMBIA, S.C. — Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, S.C., has signed on to Mayors for theFreedom to Marry, becoming the 500th U.S. mayor to join the nationwide effort of municipal leaders advocating for marriage equality.
“As a man of faith, I believe in the enduring power of love,” said Benjamin, in a statement.
“I support the freedom to marry because all families deserve to be treated equally and fairly, because everyone’s love deserves respect, and because it is simply the right thing to do,” he said.
“Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” was launched in 2012, and the robust bipartisan coalition now includes mayors from 45 states who are making the case for marriage in their cities.
The announcement follows a resolution from the U.S. Conference of Mayors on June 23, in which the Conference launched a renewed call for an end to marriage discrimination.
Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones has stood fast against marriage equality throughout his political career. When a similar national group of mayors signed a resolution supporting marriage equality at the federal level, Jone’s name was absent from the list of supporters.