On Thursday, New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, endorsed Barack Obama for the US presidential election, citing a need for strong leadership, and President Obama’s support for equal marriage.

Mayor Bloomberg, politically independent third-term New York City mayor, and an advocate of equal marriage, announced the endorsement thought a statement.

Citing President Obama’s support for equal marriage compared to Mitt Romney’s opposition to it, he said:

“One [candidate] recognises marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history.

“One believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision.”

He said the US needs a strong leader, and that climate change, and other issues, needed to be taken seriously:

“We need leadership from the White House – and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

“When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.

“If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that’s why I will be voting for him.”

He said that Mitt Romney had backtracked on several major issues, and that he previously was a supporter of his:

“If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him because, like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing.”

President Obama issued a statement welcoming the mayor’s endorsement, saying he will continue to focus on helping New York in its time of crisis:

“While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time — that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children’s future, and we owe it to them to do something about it,” President Obama said.

Both candidates had sought after Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement. The popular mayor did not endorse a presidential candidate in 2008.

An advocate of equal marriage, and supporter of equal marriage campaigns in four US states, last week, Mayor Bloomberg personally pledged $500,000 (£312,000) towards equal marriage efforts in Washingon, Maine and Minnesota. He had previosly pledged $250,000 (£155,000) to help towards making equal marriage legal in the state of Maryland.