Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Evening Edition

Reactions To Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Flags in support of gay marriage are pictured in front of San Diego State University.
Flags in support of gay marriage are pictured in front of San Diego State University.

San Diego County politicians — Democrats and Republicans — hailed Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upholds the right of people of the same sex to marry, while a local preacher who worked against gay marriage in California said the decision was nothing to celebrate.

“This is a violation of everything our forefathers envisioned,” said the Rev. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of the 4,000-member Skyline Christian Church in La Mesa. “This is not about equality, this is about totally radicalizing the definition of marriage based upon the desire of adults, not what is best for children.”

Garlow, who pushed in 2009 for passage of California's Proposition 8, which would have banned same-sex marriage, said the court showed complete disregard for the Constitution in allowing gay marriage across the nation.


"It’s a loss for children. It’s a loss for the most stable institution in all of culture," he said. "And it is also a severe loss for constitutionality and consent of the governed."

But Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, expressed relief at the court's 5-4 decision.

"We feel admiration for the couples and the advocates who have fought for marriage equality through election after election and court after court, never giving up," said Atkins, who married her partner, Jennifer LaSar, in 2008.

"And we feel pride in a movement that has helped inform public opinion and bring about justice in what, historically, is a relatively swift period of time," Atkins said. "But most of all, we feel joy for every couple in every state who now have the opportunity to share their lives with the respect, dignity and legal protections that marriage brings."

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a Republican who married her longtime partner, Denise Neleson, in 2008, was in Washington, D.C., for the decision.


“Being inside the Supreme Court to hear today’s historic opinion was truly an honor," Dumanis said.

"The ruling is confirmation from the highest court in the land that the Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights under the law extends to every American, regardless of whom you choose to love. It’s also a victory for all of those individuals who‘ve had the courage to live their lives openly and authentically, working for many years to secure equality for the LGBT community.”

Delores Jacobs, CEO of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, said this is a pivotal day in civil rights history and a life-changing moment for gays and lesbians.

"After decades of struggle attempting to gain the freedom to marry, this decision rightly makes equal recognition of marriage a matter of settled law throughout our nation," Jacobs said.

"In this moment, we remember with deep gratitude the bravery of hundreds of early trailblazers who dared to live their lives openly and to love bravely and to have the hard conversations," Jacobs said. "We also are so thankful for the hundreds of thousands of people who have given their time, energy, creativity and dollars to fuel and sustain this movement."

A celebration at the center in Hillcrest was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Reaction, Analysis To Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria, who is gay, said the decision is one for the history books.

"This is something that I couldn’t have envisioned certainly as a child, even just a few years ago, to have the Supreme Court validate that there’s a constitutional right to marry — to really give this huge quantum leap forward for the LGBT community. This is a really special day. It’s a historic day. It’s a day that will go in the textbooks — and in doing so will change the lives of millions of Americans," he said

Love and justice prevailed in the 5-4 ruling, said Gloria, a Democrat who running next year for Atkins' Assembly seat. She is termed out.

"The court's decision makes it unequivocally clear that all Americans are free to marry the one they love, and I thank all of those in the LGBT community and our allies who have fought so hard, shared their stories, and struggled to help us reach this point," Gloria said.

Despite the joy he feels over the court's decision, Gloria acknowledged that the fight for equality is not over.

"In fact, there's still a lot of work to be done for our LGBT youth, which continue to have a high level of bullying, suicide and homelessness. A lot of our seniors are forced back into the closet in the later years, and we have to change that. And certainly for our transgender community, there’s a whole lot of work to be done there," he said.

Democratic county Supervisor Dave Roberts also praised the court's decision.

"As a gay man in a committed relationship for more than 17 years, I am overjoyed by the Supreme Court's decision," Roberts said. "(Partner) Wally and I can now show our six adopted foster kids that people who love each other, and want to demonstrate their commitment through marriage, will be treated equally under the law."

Corrected: July 23, 2024 at 7:10 PM PDT
KPBS staffers Susan Murphy and Brooke Ruth contributed to this report.