Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Newsom's gay marriage initiative was "gutsy"?

I hate to pick on C.W. Nevius, since he's done so much good work. But it's disappointing to learn that he buys the Profile in Courage account of Mayor Newsom's gay marriage initiative:

"When the mayor decided to grant same-sex marriage licenses, " Campos said, "he didn't say, 'Let's stop issuing those licenses until we find out if this is legal under California law.' " And that's true. It was a gutsy political call for Newsom to continue to support issuing licenses, and I totally supported it. But what was the result? It was a short-lived victory for same-sex couples, thousands of whom were married. But the rush to judgment energized opponents, who took Newsom's "Whether you like it or not" victory shout, and turned it into rallying cry. Last year, Proposition 8 passed, banning same-sex marriage in California.

Another result of Newsom's gay marriage initiative of February, 2004: helping to re-elect George W. Bush in November, 2004, since another result was that eleven states subsequently passed anti-gay marriage initiatives, which only helped Republicans that year. He should have waited until after the 2004 election.

And "gutsy"? Newsom's gay marriage initiative was never going to hurt him politically here in Progressive Land, but it surely would have hurt him in his campaign for Governor of California. Newsom's Care Not Cash and his policies on homelessness in the face of monolithic opposition by city progressives were gutsier.

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