SAN DIEGO – A change of heart for Mayor Jerry Sanders on a controversial issue, as he announced he’s agreed to sign a resolution in support of legalizing same-sex marriage.
The mayor reversed his public opposition to gay marriage in an emotional press conference last week. Choking back tears he revealed his daughter is a lesbian. With his wife by his side, he said he could not veto the measure, which was passed Tuesday night by the city council.
Sanders said,”I have close family members and friends who are members of the gay and lesbian community. Those folks include my daughter, Lisa. As well as members of my personal staff. I couldn’t look any of them in the face and tell them their relationship, their very lives, were any less meaning full than the marriage I share with my wife.”
“I want for them the same thing that we all want for our loved ones. For each of them to find a mate, whom they love deeply and who loves them back. Someone who they can grow old together and share life’s experiences.”
Sanders said his decision simply came down to “doing the right thing.”
Following the mayor’s announcement, council member Jim Madaffer released a statement that said, “I was pleased to learn Mayor Jerry Sanders has decided not to veto the City Council?s vote to join an amicus brief supporting marriage equality. I commend the Mayor for leading with his heart and making a decision based on what he believes and not what politics dictate.”
Wednesday’s announcement was the exact opposite of Sanders’ earlier threats that he would veto the resolution if it were passed.
On Tuesday, the council broke its deadlock on the subject of gay marriage, voting 5-3 in support of an amicus brief that that will ask the state supreme court to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage.
“We will still wear our rings,” a supporter of the measure told the council before the vote. “We will still have the richness of our lives, but [it is] my hope that you will look and see that people like me — a gay man and my partner of 32 years — do represent the future.”
“If they can’t file with the IRS, they need to take it up with the IRS,” a man opposed told the council during a public-comment period. “They don’t need to change the definition of traditional marriage”
Councilmen Kevin Faulconer, Brian Maienscheien and Anthony Young voted against the measure.
Opponents have argued that San Diego voters had already expressed opposition to same-sex marriage by voting in favor of Proposition 22, a 2000 measure that prohibited state agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
Here is the video of that press conference.