(WBIR - Knoxville) Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero announced Friday she has joined the ranks of the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry organization.
Rogero, a Democrat, joined more than 500 other mayors across the country who support the right for same-sex couples to marry and receive equal benefits. She's also the second mayor in Tennessee to join; Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is also a member.
Rogero said in a statement Friday, "As mayor, I have always said that Knoxville is a city that embraces diversity, and respects and values all of its citizens. That is why I am happy to join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, along with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and more than 500 other mayors across America."
Twenty states, as well as the District of Columbia, have all legalized same-sex marriage. As of late June, there have been 20 consecutive rulings in favor of same-sex marriage in state and lower federal courts across the country, according to USA TODAY.
Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan also went to court earlier in August over each state's ban on same-sex marriage. Several couples from each state, including a Knoxville couple, were also in court to explain why their marriages should be recognized.
Rogero also said, "The right to public and legal recognition of a committed, loving relationship is fundamental to individual dignity and happiness. I believe the day is coming soon when that right will be affirmed for all Americans, across all 50 states. I stand with my fellow mayors in support and anticipation of that day."
To read the organization's mission statement, click here.