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Mayor Sanders Applauds President’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Evening Edition

Mayor Jerry Sanders tells KPBS he supports the president's change of heart on same-sex marriage.

President Barack Obama made news today by becoming the first president to declare he supports same-sex marriage. The announcement, made during an interview with ABC news, ended months of equivocation by the president on the issue.

About five years ago, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders had a more drastic change of heart on the same issue. At a live press conference, he tearfully explained he decided not to veto a measure endorsing same-sex marriage because his daughter was gay.

Today, Sanders said he was thrilled with Obama's decision.

"I think there finally comes a time when you say I've gotta' do what's right, and I think that's exactly what the president's done, it's what I did," he said. "You know, it becomes a very personal decision at that point and you know that you can't look other people in the face and say I don't think you're as valuable as anybody else."

Sanders said, like Obama, he previously believed civil unions would be enough for gay couples, but both have since changed their minds.

"What it says is, for this class of people, civil unions are OK for you, but for everybody else we're going to call it marriage and let you marry," Sanders said. "So what they're saying to this class is you're not quite as good as everybody else."

Sanders added that his daughter's partner has become like a second daughter in his family.

All four candidates to be San Diego's next mayor also say they support gay marriage. Two, City Councilman Carl DeMaio and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, are openly gay.

While state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher told Voice of San Diego in 2010 that he believes "marriage is between a man and a woman," he also said then he doesn't think it's the government's job to "make that same determination for everyone else."

But in a recent interview with LGBT Weekly, Fletcher altered his view of the government's role.

He said if elected mayor, he would pick up Sanders' mantel as a champion for gay marriage.

"And just to make absolutely clear, you would stand up and fight for it?" the paper asked.

"Absolutely," Fletcher said.

Fletcher, a Marine veteran, also went against the Republican party by supporting the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. He has since left the GOP to become an independent.

Congressman Bob Filner, the only Democratic candidate for mayor, also has changed his opinion - or at least his voting record - on gay marriage.

He voted for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

Last month, Filner told LGBT Weekly he cast that vote because he has a cynical view of marriage, and regrets his decision.

"But, as a heterosexual person who’s been married, you can take quite a cynical view of marriage and wonder why would you want to – the last one took all my money; all my property," Filner said. "I mean if it doesn’t work out; then you’ve got to get divorced. As someone who’s been divorced a couple of times – and I don’t mean to make light of it – but I took it as: Like, why would you want this? I didn’t (consider) it deeply enough."

Filner has since voted against the Marriage Protection Act of 2004 and the 2004 and 2006 Constitutional amendments to establish that marriage consists of one man and one woman. He also voted for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

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Avatar for user 'Studying_Nomad'

Studying_Nomad | May 9, 2012 at 5:02 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Peking_Duck_SD: check out your boy, Filner. It's always nice when a representative admits to not considering the effects that a piece of legislation will have on the citizens. I don't have any personal vendetta against the man, but if it ends up DeMaio v. Filner, DeMaio will own him. Fletcher has the energy to take on DeMaio.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 9, 2012 at 5:20 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Can KPBS please nail down direct confirmation either way on **Bonnie Dumanis** and **Carl DeMaio's** stance on gay marriage?

I don't think it's fair that just because they are gay, anything is assumed.

Yes, Bonnie is married to her partner but I don't recall ever seeing her actually state she is for gay marriage.

They need to be on the record **now** giving their statements, not relying on some statement in the past, because politicians tend to "evolve" on this issue.

And "evolving" does not always mean towards equality.

Look at Willard Romney. His opinions on gay rights have gone backwards since entering the Republican primary.

I am particularly interested in Carl DeMaio.

DeMaio has proudly accepted endorsements from:
**Doug Manchester** who publicly supported and donated to Prop 8
**Roger Hegecock** a former mayor cum felon cum right wing radio host who is opposed to gay marriage
**"Lysol" Larry Stirling, who, as a judge, infamously ordered his courtroom cleared and sanitized after a defendant with HIV/AIDS appeared before him

Clearly DeMaio has made alliances with bigots who find his own personal life disgusting simply in pursuit of his political career in San Diego which, for decades, has been dependent on alligning with the right wing agenda.

The reason DeMaio and Dumanis are so crabby and snippy towards Fletcher is because the days of the "good 'ol boy network" being the only route to political stardom in San Diego County have crumbled, and a more moderate populace is likely to support Fletcher than DeMaio or Dumanis wo seem stuck in the old San Diego.

Bottom line is the media needs to do their damn job and put DeMaio on the spot.

**Does he support gay marriage?**
**Will he be a champion of the cause as mayor?**

The voting public deserves to know in order to make an informed decision.

But maybe Dirty Carl is afraid rickety, draconian Old Man Manchester might just print a retraction to is glowing endorsement if DeMaio speaks clearly on the issue.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 9, 2012 at 5:41 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Studying, I researched Filner before I decided to vote for him, what is printed in this story is nothing I didn't already know.

The bottom line is all the candidates have skeletons in their closets on this issue, and I think that considering Filner's solid gay rights support since 1996 - over 15 years, we pretty much know who he is and where he stands.

While I applaud Fletcher's current stances on gay rights, they are vey recent and I would like to see his politics as a newly minted independent develop a bit before electing him as mayor.

What Filner did in the 90s was wrong, (he admits that) but you have to acknowledge that coming out in support of gay marriage in 1996 was far more controversial and politically damaging than it is today.

Not making excuses for Filner because it was wrong, but there is no way Fletcher would have supported gay rights if he had been in congress in the 90s. Just no way.

I like Fletcher, but all around Filner has a far more solid progressive track record on pretty much all the issues of the day and I continue to support him.

As far as his chances, Filner obviously stands pretty good chances of winning because **Jeff Light** the journalistically inept editor of the UT was caught on camera expressing concern over Filner making it past the primary.

If for some reason Filner does not clear the primary and fletcher does, I will support Fletcher over Dumanis or Dirty Carl.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 9, 2012 at 6:13 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

**Willard Mitt Romney is on record saying he doesn't even support civil unions:**

**This is to the right of even George W. Bush who favored civil unions but not same-sex marriage.**

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Avatar for user 'Claire Trageser'

Claire Trageser, KPBS Staff | May 9, 2012 at 7:02 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Peking_Duck_SD, thanks for your comments. Dumanis has stated publicly she opposed Proposition 8, and DeMaio confirmed to NBC today that he supports Obama's decision: I will add a link to this story. Thanks again.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 9, 2012 at 7:59 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Claire!

I would still like to know how DeMaio reconciles this with the anti-gay endorsers he enthusiastically accepts.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 10, 2012 at 8:41 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

The ONLY reason SLANDERS takes this position is because of his daughter. Same reasoning for Darth Cheney.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 10, 2012 at 9:22 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

"Yes, Bonnie is married to her partner but I don't recall ever seeing her actually state she is for gay marriage."

Huh? You mean she was coerced? Shotgun wedding? Reminds me of when the rightwing fundamentalists wanted Obama to publicly state that he was a "Christian." Ironic, isn't it?

You make absolutely no sense, Duck.

And why would that be a priority as far as the mayoral race?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | May 10, 2012 at 10:06 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Well people please, please stop talking about this. It is insane the flurry this has caused. Starving kids? Nah... Obama said gay marriage is ok! STOP THE PRESSES!!

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Avatar for user 'Studying_Nomad'

Studying_Nomad | May 10, 2012 at 10:55 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

JeanMarc - when do we ever hear about starving kids in the news? Entertainment media all day, every day.

Peking_Duck_SD - it wasn't the issue, as much as the reasoning that I found interesting from Filner. I researched the issues too and Filner looks like status quo. I think he's missing the energy needed to focus on the future. I don't agree 100% with pension reform. However, I agree that it needs to be done. Fletcher doesn't seem to me to be much of an "ideas" guy, but I like that he's open to all ideas and makes a decision based off of what seems best based on the information available at the time, rather than just party lines. He seems to be a good leader.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 10, 2012 at 11:11 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Mission, this issue isn't important to you, yet you continue to click on every gay rights story that appears to comment on how radical anyone who considers this an important issue is.

You have issues you post passionately about that are closer to you, but in your own hypocrisy **those** are not radical, it's only radical when it's something you don't agree with.

Are you really clueless enough not to see that the same arguments you make on gay threads can be made in response to some of your posts on immigrants rights?

The difference between me and you is that I support human rights and equality for all. I don't cherry pick it based on my own experience with certain issues like you.

Yes, I am close to the gay issue in my personal life.

But I don't personally know any illegal immigrants, however I support basic human rights for ALL people and speak out just as passionately when I hear of injustices being committed against other groups the same way I do about gay issues.

You are just like Sanders and Cheney - - you only think equality and human rights activism apply to issues you are close to and nothing else!

Your responses to my many posts about Dumanis and Dirty Carl show you aren't grasping it, but I will try one more time:

It's not a **gay** issue, it's a **character** issue that Dumanis and Dirty Carl run away from gay issues and align themselves with homophobes.

Dumanis is a prominent gay politician in San Diego who is in a gay marriage, yet she chooses to remain largely silent on the issue because she cares more about her dirty political alliances with bigots than she does equality and her own family.

You may not agree, but it's my opinion and I will not stop calling out Dumanis and Dirty Carl's gay hypocrisy until they are both ou of office.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 10, 2012 at 11:15 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Jean, this is an important issue, but I agree with you that hunger is far under-reported in the media.

It's not because gay marriage is taking priority over it, hunger is rarely ever reported on in the media regardless of whether gay marriage is in the news or not.

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Avatar for user 'SDCyclist'

SDCyclist | May 10, 2012 at 3:01 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Speaking as a gay man, I don't see myself ever getting married in the eyes of the government. It's not something I personally want to do (ever). I'm a few years beyond 40 so it's not as issue I have waffled on nor ever see changing for me personally. However, I do believe marriage is a federal right that everyone should be afforded. I think that's one of the points/arguments Peking_Duck_SD is trying to make - you can be gay but not necessarily in favor of marriage for yourself.

Additionally, I do know plenty of gay people who are, believe it or not, NOT in favor or extending marriage equality to gay people. Their argument is that marriage (gay or straight) is a horrible institution that no one should ever enter into. I think that's another point Peking is making. So... I agree... the sexual orientation of a candidate is in no way an indicator of how they feel on issues. Although many heterosexual people might find this hard to believe, gay people are incredibly diverse socially and politically. Gay does not by any stretch equate with being politically liberal. Trust me on that! Just look at Carl DeMaio! He's as conservative as they come and he's gay.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 10, 2012 at 5:46 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Well written SDCyclist!

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 11, 2012 at 10:47 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Duckster, there is no hypocrisy. I point out the contradictions of the LGBT hardliners and their supporters. You want hypocrisy? Turn to Newsome, Villaraigoza. Slick Wille and Arnie--political opportinists who pander to the LGBT uncompromisers by putting "marriage" on a a throne publically while p*ssing on their own privately. (A line by Roman Senator Charles Laughton in SPARTACUS referring to the gods: "Privately I don't believe in them; publically I believe in every single one!" Thank you CPUSA member Dalton Trumbo!) Or how about those who charge "hate" all the while they have their Dan Savages, the Spanish miliants in Barcelona, or the over-top-in-your-face signs by many an American LGBT demonstrator?

As for as immigration, it isn't "personal" to me. (Explain the UT posters who are pro-same-sex "marriage" while posting Nativist comments on other stories. Or KOGOS's L Dona Harpy who is pro-same sex and as rabidly anti-immigrant as Hedgefund.) It would be comparing apples and figs. but if you need to know, my postings are less a matter of opinion than they are conclusions arrived at after reading studies by researchers and journalists like Wayne Cornelius, Jorge Bustamante, Douglas Massey, Bill Ong Hing, David Card, the Rand Corp, among others. On the other hand, I see no "studies" on this particular issue.

And your stubborn belief that a "Log Cabin Repblican" is an inherent contradiction (i.e. De Mayonaisse and Dumbanus) is a fallacy in itself.

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Avatar for user 'KeepYourChinUpGuy'

KeepYourChinUpGuy | May 12, 2012 at 2:40 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Civilized Discourse. Presidential Media Order on Homosexuality 2012/May
Recently Barack Hussein Obama has also echoed these sentiments, calling for reductions in population and an increase in homosexuality..

Taxpayer funded Government Discipline and hard work has rewards. The White House homosexuality discussions and decision political analyst-driven theme park making process has achieved full frontal fruition and been rewarded by Presidential and Mayoral homo-eroticism masterpiece completion of President's Same-sex Marriage Decision.

Laying North America's cornerstone for a WHAAC--Widespread Homosexuality Acceptance & Approval Committee foundation. Consider CHPCA--Covert Homosexuality Population Control Agenda benefits. PD--Population downsizing utilizing HMMTs [homosexual mindset modification tactics]. A middle road play or ploy-as-you-go philosophy, no puns intended. Signed? Approved by the 1st Kenyan-American President of the United States.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 12, 2012 at 9:33 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Chinup, that was a great sarcasm post pretending to be a psychopath birther.

And on the off-chance your post wasn't sarcastic - computers, crack smoking, and FOX "news" are a lethal triad and will get you checked into a looney bin.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 14, 2012 at 9:51 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

KEEPYOURSPINUP, you are either a "plant" or you're so far gone you're not even on the map! Now, get back to your AM Hate Radio, I think the commercial break is OVER.

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Avatar for user 'Dothscribble'

Dothscribble | May 22, 2012 at 12:57 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

No one asked Sanders' opinion of B. Obama's unsolicited Opinion.

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