Democratic New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has endorsed allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Landrieu, a Catholic, is a longtime supporter of recognizing gay couples with civil unions. Unlike marriage, however, the federal government does not recognize civil unions for the purpose of benefits.

Last week, the United States Conference of Mayors overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on federal courts, including the Supreme Court, to rule against state bans excluding gay couples from marriage. Landrieu's name appeared on the statement.

(Related: U.S. mayors call on Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality.)

“The mayor has long supported ending marriage discrimination at all levels of government,” a Landrieu spokesman told gay glossy The Advocate. “As an employer, the city of New Orleans recognizes domestic partnerships and allows our employees' partners to be eligible for benefits.”