Georgia Rep. John Lewis on Sunday reiterated that he sees the movement to legalize gay marriage as a civil rights issue.

Appearing in a nearly 2-minute video for Freedom to Marry, the 74-year-old Lewis, the only living “big six” leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, compared the civil rights movement to today's fight for marriage equality.

“I fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up and speak up against discrimination against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters,” Lewis says in the clip. “I see the right to marriage as a civil rights issue. You cannot have rights for one segment of the population, or one group of people, and not for everybody. Civil rights and equal rights must be for all of God's children.”

The ad is part of a $1 million multi-state campaign to build majority support for marriage equality in the South. The campaign, titled Southerners for the Freedom to Marry, includes co-chairs representing 13 southern states.

Lewis also said in the ad that he saw marriage equality as a step toward completing Martin Luther King Jr.'s “beloved community.”

“I look forward to the day, not just in the state of Georgia, but all across the American South and all across our country, when the question of being free to fall in love and marry whoever you please will no longer be an issue. And that day will come. It will come in America. In our lifetime.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said the campaign comes “at a pivotal time in the marriage movement.”

“The South is home to hundreds of thousands of loving, committed same-sex couples – and to a majority of the nearly 50 federal marriage cases now underway in courts across the country. Our new campaign will give voice to the many in the region now ready to move forward, including clergy, business leaders, conservatives, and family members, to show that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry,” Wolfson said in an emailed statement.