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Politifact says mayor flip-flopped on gay marriage, mayor unleashes Internet army upon Politifact

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Mayor Kasim Reed has marshaled an army of supporters and followers to push back on Twitter, Facebook, and probably the new and improved MySpace against today's AJC Politifact report giving him a "full flop" - that's Politifact-ese for "flip flopper" - on gay marriage.

For those just now tuning in: On the campaign trail, Reed caught hell from LGBT activists and some progressives for saying he supported civil unions but not gay marriage. Over the years, he said he was "wrestling with his beliefs" on the issue. In December, while signing an Atlanta City Council resolution expressing support for marriage equality, the mayor announced that his views had finally changed. He bodyslammed the anti-gay marriage devil sitting on his shoulder and... I can't come up with another wrestling metaphor. In short, Reed had seen the light.

Today, Politifact weighed in.

Before supporting same-sex marriage, Reed was a consistent supporter of civil unions despite intense pressure from LGBT voters. During the 2009 race, he dug in his heels, even though it meant losing the support of this crucial voting bloc.

PolitiFact defines a Full Flop as "a major reversal of position." Reed's change fits the bill.

Reed was none too pleased about the "ruling."

The mayor and his allies rallied Facebook supporters to tweet that:

If you're on twitter, please tweet this to your network:

On issue of #MarriageEquality: Mayor Reed DID NOT flip-flop. @KasimReed got it right! #LGBT #GaPol #AJCFalse

Many of them, including the Red Clay Democrats, Georgia Equality, and the Human Rights Campaign, responded.

Evolution is not a flip-flop! We support Mayor @kasimreed and thank him for his support of marriage equality!
- Georgia Equality (@GAEquality) January 9, 2013


#ajc may call #kasimreed a flip flopper on #marriageequality -we call it courage!Thanks Mayor Reed for supporting equality #hrc #hrcatlanta
- HRC Atlanta (@hrcatlanta) January 9, 2013


And this gent in a bowtie:

@ajc makes error in @politifactga column; Receives a false on Mayor @kasimreed's position on #MarriageEquality. #AJCfalse
- Phil Stephenson (@philstepson) January 9, 2013


Following that, the mayor's office released a very long press statement arguing that the mayor has a long history of supporting LGBT issues. It also summarized his efforts as mayor and a state lawmaker to advance LGBT issues, which included voting against legislation which led to the state's gay marriage ban, blocking a bill that would have prevented gay couples from adopting children, and supporting anti-discrimination measures

Project Q Atlanta rightly argues that "[http://www.projectqatlanta.com/news_articles/view/kasim_reed_fights_gay_marriage_flip_flop_label?gid=12742|labeling him as a flip-flopper on gay marriage doesn't pick up the nuances of the issue]." And Ryan Watkins and Dyana Bagby at the Georgia Voice, whose editor Laura Douglas-Brown was quoted in the Politifact piece, have some good advice for the mayor: "embrace the flop."



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