I find this story incredibly hopeful.
Indeed, I have absolutely no doubt that it’s stories like this that will make inevitable the extending of civil marriage rights to same-gender couples - both here in the U.S. and around the world. For as Joan Walsh perceptively observes, in this particular story we see “the way necessary social change happens.”
So what’s the story? Well, it centers on San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders – Republican, longtime opponent of civil marriage rights for same-gender couples and accordingly a supporter of Proposition 8, an initiative state constitutional amendment on the 2008 California General Election ballot that, if passed, would eliminate the right for same sex couples to marry in California.
Recently, however, Mayor Sanders had a change of heart. Just over a month ago, he and his wife held a press conference in which he explained to reporters how he had planned to veto a City Council resolution supporting efforts to overturn California’s ban on gay civil marriage, but changed his mind when the resolution reached his desk.
Said Sanders: “The arrival of the resolution to sign or veto in my office late last night - [pauses] please excuse us – forced me to reflect and search my soul for the right thing to do. I've decided to lead with my heart, which is probably obvious at the moment, to do what I think is right and to take a stand on behalf of equality and social justice.”
Sanders then told the gathered reporters that his daughter Lisa and members of his staff are gay, and explained: “In the end, I could not look any of them in the face and tell them that their relationships – their very lives – were any less meaningful than the marriage that I share with my wife, Rana.”
Powerful stuff, don’t you think? And it’s even more powerful when you actually watch Sanders deliver his emotionally-charged testimony.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Fr. Geoff Farrow on Proposition 8
Same-Sex Marriage: Still Very Much on the Archbishop’s Mind
A Priest’s Courageous Act
Update on Fr. Geoff Farrow
Another Victory in Connecticut
The Same People
What Straights Can Learn from Gay Marriage
Good News from the Golden State
Love is Love
The Changing Face of “Traditional Marriage”
Naming and Confronting Bigotry
The Real Gay Agenda
Civil Unions and Christian Tradition
Separate is Not Equal
Mainstream Voice of “Dear Abby” Supports Gay Marriage
New Studies: Gay Couples as Committed as Straight Couples
This “Militant Secularist” Wants to Marry a Man
Good News from Minnesota