Linda Johnson Rice, the publisher of Ebony and Jet, endorsed gay marriage in a Valentine's Day op-ed published in the Chicago Tribune.

“I have always drawn strength from my late mother's life,” Rice wrote. “When Eunice Johnson set up the first major fashion show for African-American audiences more than 50 years ago, she did so at a time when black Americans, especially black women, were still fighting for a seat at the table, any table.”

Rice added that her thoughts were with her mother when Jet began featuring same-sex couples in 2011.

“When the December magazine hit newsstands, I received dozens of calls wondering whether our readers or advertisers protested. You know what? Not one did. They celebrated right along with us because they were celebrating fairness and equality.”

“Yet if the couples we featured walked into an Illinois courthouse and tried to get a marriage license, they'd be turned away. … For these couples, they can't show their true colors in the way my mother believed was absolutely essential.”

Jet and Ebony are published by Johnson Publishing Company, which is headquartered in Chicago. Rice serves as its chairman.

The endorsement arrived on the same day that Illinois senators voted for a marriage equality bill and sent it to the House.