Sanders announces he has lesbian daughter, signs friend-of-court brief
In a dramatic about face, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders told reporters Wednesday, Sept. 19, that he has changed his mind and now favors same-sex marriage.
Sanders, who has been at odds with the San Diego city council on the issue, also announced that his daughter, Lisa, is a lesbian.
The press conference came a day after the city council voted 5-3 to sign a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the right to marry before the California Supreme Court. Several other cities have supported the brief, but until this week the San Diego council had been deadlocked.
Mayor Sanders, in turn, had opposed the idea, telling the public he preferred that gay couples access rights through domestic partnerships or civil unions. After the Sept. 18 vote, Mayor Sanders initially pledged to veto the council’s decision.
A day later, however, Sanders reversed himself and signed the council’s resolution.
“Two years ago, I believed that civil unions were a fair alternative,” Sanders said on Wednesday. “Those beliefs, in my case, have since changed. The concept of a “‘separate but equal’ institution is not something that I can support.”
According to the Associated Press, Sanders was close to tears as he continued, telling his gay constituents and his daughter that “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.”
The brief from the various cities will join a collection of third party opinions on both sides of the marriage issue. Due next week, these amicus briefs are part of the final written stages of the state supreme court’s consideration of six coordinated marriage equality lawsuits.
Replies to the amicus briefs are due in mid-October, after which time the justices will schedule oral arguments in the case.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 21, 2007