Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina is the 500th mayor to pledge support for the legalization of gay marriage.

Benjamin is the latest mayor to join the group Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, which launched two years ago with 80 mayors.

“As a man of faith, I believe in the enduring power of love,” Benjamin said in a statement. “I support the freedom to marry because all families deserve to be treated equally and fairly, because everyone's love deserves respect, and because it is simply the right thing to do.”

Mayors for the Freedom To Marry includes mayors from 45 states, the group said in announcing its newest member.

“Mayor Benjamin, like the hundreds of other mayors, knows that marriage strengthens families and communities,” said Freedom to Marry National Campaign Director Marc Solomon. “As long as South Carolina and 30 other states deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry, those couples and their children are subject to hardships and indignity. The Supreme Court should listen to the bipartisan chorus of mayors who stand on the right side of history and bring an end to marriage discrimination in America once and for all.”