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an unlikely message: go gavin!

February 15, 2004

so same-sex marriages are happening in san francisco. around 1600 at last count i heard.

and gavin newsom, of all people, spearheaded it. at first i wanted to see it as just a slick political move because let's face it, i hated him. i fought to keep him out of office. then i started thinking that regardless of who started it and with what motivation, this is totally, unarguably, a good thing.

in fact, i'm realizing that his actions basically amount to civil disobedience. he has defied state law overtly, without any apology, any hedging or delay. and whether calculated or not, it's a huge risk taken in support of a just cause. yes, the marriages will in all probability be overturned. yes, answering shots will be fired, are being fired even now. but all eyes are on us. they're marrying queers out there in california! and the world isn't ending just yet.

so. a straight, rich, white male of every possible privilege, who has shown every sign of being a secret republican (at least in the context of san francisco, "moderate" and "centrist" not being descriptions which fit very well into the political climate) has sparked a national battle on behalf of a group of marginalized people because it's the right thing to do. don't you just love this town?

gavin's letter to the county clerk

the first lawsuit


Subject: A nod from the left
To: [email protected]

Mayor Newsom,

Four days ago I would never have imagined I would be writing to you to express my gratitude, but that is exactly what I find myself doing. I did not support you as a mayoral candidate. I campaigned actively for Matt Gonzalez for many reasons, but ultimately I think it came down to the fact that I trust him as a person. I worried about your ties to corporations and entrenched government, and I believed that you would prioritize political advancement above all else.

The events of February 12 forced me to reexamine my beliefs. Although you have always to my knowledge been in favor of same-sex marriage, to me your recent actions represent a truly progressive change. You went beyond words, beyond established process, and in the face of injustice you acted decisively. In my mind there are few things more admirable. It is my hope that this proves to be the first step down a road of more compassionate and trust-building leadership.

In the last several days, you have made me proud to be a San Franciscan. You have made me proud for the first time to call you our mayor. For that, I thank you. And on the issue of same-sex marriage, at least, I offer you my unflinching support in the fight which is sure to come