New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has signed a statement by the group Mayors for the Freedom to Marry in support of marriage equality.

Mayor Landrieu, a Catholic Democrat, has a history of supporting civil unions, but hadn’t come out in support of marriage equality until now.

His name, along with the names of almost 500 other US mayors, appeared in an online statement that reads: “all people should be able to share in the love and commitment of marriage.” 

The statement, created by the mayors of seven major US cities, states: “We invite our colleagues to join us in signing this statement as we advocate for the freedom to marry and build a nation where all loving couples who want to make the life-long commitment can share in the joy and respect of marriage.”

In a statement to the New Orleans Advocate, Mayor Landrieu’s spokesperson Tyler Gamble states that Landrieu has “long supported ending marriage discrimination at all levels of government.”

In February a lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s ban on recognising out-of-state same-sex marriage was announced by the gay rights group The Forum for Equality Louisiana.