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Republican Mayor of San Diego Abandons Homophobia, Embraces Same-Sex Marriage

This post, written by Howie Klein, originally appeared on Down With Tyranny!

Yesterday, by a 5-3 vote, the City Council of San Diego passed a resolution supporting marriage equality. Jerry Sanders, the Republican mayor-- who campaigned opposing marriage equality-- announced this morning that he had changed his mind and would sign the resolution instead of vetoing it. A former Chief of Police, Sanders, tearfully also announced that one of his daughters, Lisa, is gay and that he would lead with his heart. "The concept of a separate but equal institution is something that I cannot support," he explained, tearfully, with his wife standing at his time." Please watch the video; it is very powerful.

The San Diego Union-Tribune covered his press conference. "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."
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."

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