CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a brief, but productive, trip to Washington, D.C. on Friday, joining mayors from across the United States in supporting the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

The mayor is attending the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry group in Washington, D.C. on Friday. The group is being launched as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 80th Winter meeting, at which Emanuel is set to speak.

Emanuel said Thursday he is going the support the group’s aims because he thinks it is the right thing to day and his consistent with the nation’s values.

More than 75 mayors have pledged to support marriage equality, according to the organizers of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.

The mayors who have taken the pledge include Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Among the others besides Emanuel are Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York and Mayor Annise Parker of Houston, the Chicago Phoenix reports. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa char the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry Group.

Emanuel supported the Illinois General Assembly in its legalization of civil unions for same-sex couples last year. He officiated at the civil union of one of his staffers.

Also Friday, in a 15-minute speech, the mayor outlined his plans to offer Chicago’s city colleges students a new college-to-career track.

“The best arsenals are community colleges,” Emanuel told his peers. “And they have been on the sidelines of workforce development.”

The mayor left almost immediately after his speech, quickly covering the few blocks to the White House complex, where he had a private meeting with his former boss, President Obama. He left, still talking on the phone to those he couldn’t visit personally, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

Emanuel would only say his confab with the president was productive and dealt with a range of issues. Presumably that included the upcoming NATO/G8 summits that will be held in Chicago.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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