Newsom laments Prop 8 win

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by Amanda Witherell

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Mayor Gavin Newsom in the Prop 8 spotlight. Photo by Luke Thomas, Fog City Journal

Mayor Gavin Newsom expressed equal awe over seeing an African American elected president of the United States and a ban on gay marriage in California. “First and foremost it was an extraordinary night last night…for the country…and for civil rights,” he said at a crowded city hall press conference on the day after the election. But when it came to the rights of another population, he lamented, “I never thought in my lifetime that I’d see a constitution changed to take rights away.” He expressed particular dismay that California, “a state that has always been on the leading edge,” has become “the first state in the history of this country to take rights away.”

“Because they did nothing except fall in love and say ‘I do,’” he repeated several times.

He pointed out that the 2008 victory of Prop 8 passed with a slimmer majority than the last attempt in 2000. “We are moving in the right direction,” he said. “Millions and millions of people said it’s wrong to take rights away from people.” And he remained upbeat: “It doesn’t make me proud but it doesn’t make me, in any way, shape, or form, pessimistic.”

With some stirring words he connected the history of social change in America to the gay rights movement, concluding, “Everyone deserves the same opportunities, the same privileges, as everyone else. Separate is not equal.” For different genders, races, and ethnicities the basis of equality is a founding principle in the constitution, which has now been altered. He maintained that opponents of Prop 8 will someday be on the right side of history. “How can we, in 2008, argue for a separate track based on sexual orientation?”

And he cautioned Prop 8 supporters. “Don’t be gleeful at the expense of human beings whose lives have been devastated.”

When questioned, Newsom expressed support for City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s efforts to invalidate Prop 8. This morning Herrera, along with city attorneys from Los Angeles and Santa Clara, filed a writ of mandate with the California Supreme Court, arguing “that the California Constitution's equal protection provisions do not allow a bare majority of voters to use the amendment process to divest politically disfavored groups of constitutional rights,” according to a press release.

Newsom cast off as “irrelevant” speculation that his run for governor would see some fallout from his vocal opposition to Prop 8, and said he hadn’t given much thought to what his continued advocacy for gay rights would be.

Comments

There seem to be comparisons with the election of Obama and gay marriage. I keep hearing first black man to be elected President but he is bi-racial and I think it isn't relevant what race he is apart of. He is actually part of both races we are now referring to commonly as black and white.

Hispanics are darker skinned but in the same race as the whites. So there is no racial harrassment there but possibly ethnic. If it concerns breaking immigration laws then its breaking the law and no favors should be given to anyone who breaks the law. Why have them if we play favorites and blacks and hispanics are no longer minorities or getting to that point. Studies are showing that by 2042 whites will be the minority in the US. Maybe we will now get some of the breaks that were given away merely for the sake of race.

Prop 8 in my opinion is unconstitutional. It is based on religion solely. Religious views are suppose to be kept out of politics. I can agree if they want to maintain the right of any religious group to deny such unions but a Judge of any county in California should be able to do this because it is part of the government and religious views have no right to be there. The biggest groups behind this bothering people and phone calling were the Christians. I had to hang up on them because we were being hounded by phone calls.

I am appalled that people in this day and age would be voting on such a thing. If this is your religious view fine but it has no place in legislation and if no one stands up besides me and says so and challenges this law then you deserve what you get. I am not gay but I see the handwriting on the wall as far as invading into other's personal beliefs and viewpoints for the sake of organized religion that should not be meddling in other's life choices. More and more studies have been done on the homosexual phenomenon and especially the intersexed person.

People should be ashamed because some of this is being caused by parents and doctors who are forcing gender types on babies who are predominantly by DNA tests the opposite gender from what the parents choose. Out come the knives and surgery and voila you have most often a girl when in many cases it should have been male. This is something that should be addressed, not issues of who has the right to love whom. I am ashamed to live in the state of California when people will pass a bill such as this. All bills of this type that have been passed by vote should be over-turned because they go against the very fundamentals the country was based upon. Not a separation of church and state as it really doesn't say that but no religious view can be considered the religion of the land and I am sorry the Christians are trying to force this on everyone else. I know they were mostly behind this bill and it disgusts me.

Where is the love for your fellow man and why is it ok to judge when this is a fundamental taboo, yet here it is, people so afraid of what someone else might do? Will it rub off folks? This country is going to the dogs and you know who you are.

Posted by Molli Dewston on Nov. 05, 2008 @ 8:18 pm

Hey, Mayor Newsom: remember when you said that the door was open "whether [the people of California] liked it or not?" Well, guess what, Mayor? The door is now closed whether you like or not!

Posted by Nick on Nov. 05, 2008 @ 6:35 pm