|Way to go Mayor Sanders!
||[Sep. 20th, 2007|08:10 pm]
Sanders changes mind on gay marriage
By Jennifer Vigil
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
September 20, 2007
A tearful Mayor Jerry Sanders made a dramatic shift yesterday, explaining that he can no longer oppose same-sex marriages because he does not want to deny justice to people like his daughter, who is a lesbian.
Joined at a late afternoon news conference by his wife, Rana Sampson, the San Diego mayor announced he will back a City Council decision to support same-sex marriage before the state Supreme Court, where California's ban on it awaits review.
“I decided to lead with my heart, which is probably obvious at the moment,” said Sanders, moments before he revealed his daughter's sexual orientation.
The mayor's new stance marked a reversal of his pledge Tuesday to use his veto power to block the council's move. At the time, he repeated his preference for civil unions, partnerships between same-sex couples that offer some but not all of the legal protections given to those who marry.
Speaking one day before he plans to formally launch his re-election campaign, Sanders' emotions began to overtake him almost immediately as he prepared to discuss his daughter Lisa's private life. Neither of his daughters attended.
He said his thoughts on same-sex marriage began to change late Tuesday, when he received word of the resolution.
That's when “the enormity” of the council's action hit him, Sanders said, and he sought the counsel of a small group of friends and neighbors. They gathered at his Kensington home throughout the evening. Meanwhile, he spoke by phone to Lisa, a North Park resident in her early 20s...
And way to go Lisa Sanders, too.
...He began by explaining his refusal to veto the council's decision, saying his beliefs had “evolved significantly” since 2005, when he established his stance on civil unions during his first mayoral campaign.
In the time since, he said he realized he could not accept “the concept of a separate-but-equal institution.” Because of that, he continued, he was unwilling to send the message to anyone that “they were less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.”
The mayor, now crying openly, noted that he has close family members and friends in the gay and lesbian community, including staff members and “my daughter Lisa.”
“In the end, I couldn't look any of them in the face and tell them that their relationships, their very lives, were any less meaningful than the marriage I share with my wife, Rana,” said Sanders, who quickly thanked reporters and dashed from the room...
Maybe the cranks and the bigots won't have their way forever. Mayor Sanders is a Republican, by the way.