The City of Austin on Thursday became the first Texas municipality to endorse marriage equality.

The 7-member Austin City Council unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole. Co-sponsors included Mayor Leffingwell and Council Member Laura Morrison.

Symbolic only in nature, it cites historical, moral and political imperatives in support of granting marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.

The state's largest LGBT rights advocate, Equality Texas, cheered the move, calling the vote “the first time in recent history that so many local advocacy organizations in Austin have united in support of equality.”

“The Austin City Council UNANIMOUSLY passed resolution supporting the freedom to marry!” the group announced on its Facebook page. “Passage of this resolution [sends] the message to state and national leaders that Austin is a community that values equality for all its citizens. The resolution [also sends] the message that the City of Austin believes all couples in loving and committed relationships should be given the opportunity to create stronger and more successful families through civil marriage.”

A law criminalizing gay sex remains on Texas' books. While technically unenforceable after the Supreme Court's groundbreaking 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas ruling, lawmakers have steadfastly refused to remove their sodomy law, making Texas one of only three states where such laws remain. The other two are Oklahoma and Kansas.

In 2005, an overwhelming majority (76%) of voters approved Proposition 2, Texas' gay marriage ban.

However, acceptance is increasing in the Lone Star state. A February 2012 Texas Politics survey found a majority of Texas voters support either marriage (31%) or civil unions (29%) for gay couples. Thirty-three percent said they were opposed to all legal recognition.