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Gay Rights in the City of San Diego Elections

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Aired 4/19/09

Gay rights is an issue in several San Diego city council races this June. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Mayor Jerry Sander's tearful endorsement of gay marriage has earned him friends and foes. Two openly gay candidates are vying to replace Toni Atkins in the third district.

Now, the San Diego Democratic Club , which advocates for gay rights, has given its lowest rating to a gay candidate in the 5th district race to replace Brain Maienschein.

The Club's Andrea Villa says Carl Demaio, a republican, has accepted major campaign contributions from developer Doug Manchester. Manchester is funding a statewide campaign to ban gay marriage.

Villa says Demaio doesn't stand for gay rights.

Villa: He's not taken the opportunity, an easy opportunity to aligning himself with the majority of the city council and our mayor, also a republican, to do the right thing to say that indeed he would stand up and protect the rights of every San Diegan.

Demaio responded with a written statement saying "So - a partisan Democrat club finds a Republican unacceptable. Go figure."

Demaio is running on a platform of fiscal reform at city hall, including widespread outsourcing of city jobs. His only opponent, democrat George is a retired fire chief who is supported by the labor unions.

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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