Saturday, September 22, 2007

San Diego Mayor Changes Position on Gay Marriage After His Daughter Comes Out

Two years ago, the Republican mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders, was elected on a platform that included opposition to gay marriage. Yet, on Wednesday, he suddenly dropped his opposition and signed a City Council resolution supporting a challenge to California's gay marriage ban. He had previously promised to veto it.

Why the change of heart? It seems the most important reason is Lisa Sanders, the mayor's daughter, who it turns out is a lesbian:

The Republican mayor said he could no longer back the position he took during his election campaign two years ago, when he said he favored civil unions but not full marriage rights for homosexual couples.

He fought back tears as he said he wanted his adult daughter, Lisa, and other gay people he knows to have their relationships protected equally under state laws.

"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," Sanders said.

The move most likely carries some political risk for Mayor Sanders since, "in 2000, 62% of San Diego voters endorsed a statewide measure to restrict marriage to a union between a man and woman."

It seems quite understandable to me that through the love one has for one's daughter, one would gain insight and empathy for the plight of homosexuals. Yet, that is not always the case. Dick Cheney's daughter is gay, and Dick Cheney continues to oppose gay marriage. I think in Cheney we have a man willing to put political considerations above what his heart must tell him is the right thing to do. But do you think I'm being too hard on Cheney?


Reference:

San Diego Mayor to Back Same-Sex Marriage

15 comments:

Jamie said...

I say good on Mayor Sanders! To hell with what his political career may bring because of his actions. He did the right thing and didn't discriminate.

As for Cheney, you aren't being hard enough. After all, he is a Dick.

If I can be so crude, it only takes one Dick and One Bush to screw the whole country. We have seven years of experience to bear witness to that!

painted wolf said...

Good for him... its too bad that his compassion only kicked in when it came to his daughter, and from thinking about someone elces child.

Oh well, experience is the best teacher.

Trinifar said...

What confounds me is Mary Cheney's support for the Republican party. I'll never understand that or the Log Cabin Republicans.

amuirin said...

No, you're not being too hard on Cheney. That would be hard to do.

However, I can't help but see the other side of the Sanders situation. While I support gay marriage, I am thinking doing a turn around and acting politically from that change of heart when you were elected based on a specific set of beliefs is wrong.

Imagine if this were a person elected by a liberal base who voted for him because of his progressive educational ideals and a pro-choice stance.. Then that person gets into office and begins to sign his name on anti-abortion resolutions. I would feel betrayed and furious.

His change of heart is laudable, but acting on it politically is not. I think that is deceptive.

makita said...

It's impossible to write anything that is too hard on Dick Cheney.

decrepitoldfool said...

I do not think it is deceptive to change your position between election and action. We elect human beings, not robots. If it bothers the voters enough, they won't vote for him next cycle.

Webs said...

I agree with DOF. Would you think any differently if Bush changed his position on the Iraq war? Likely not, we would all say, "It's about damn time!" And he would get a lot of praise, even though we are pissed he started it in the first place.

I want a politician that in the face of sound reasoning, and sound scientific evidence can say, "Dang, I was wrong..."

amuirin said...

Yeah, but the majority of the electorate wants the Iraq War to end.

And we elect people not robots, true, maybe because there aren't any robots available yet who can fulfill the job. Robots aren't an option. But those people are elected because their political platforms resonate with the majority of voters.

If you say people should be allowed to turn around on act on a different set of values than they present when they are candidates, then you're welcoming a blind race. You're welcoming elected officials whose true intentions no one can know or count on.

And that's a good part of what's wrong with this country.

decrepitoldfool said...

You're kidding, right? Since when have we ever been able to count on a politician doing what they promised to do? I reserve the right to approve changes that align with my values and disapprove ones that don't. Politicians want to stay in office, so there's a self-correcting factor there. If it bothers the voters enough, they'll vote him out. Or maybe they'll say; "you know, he's right". It's up to them.

jamie said...

I agree with decrepitoldfool. Besides, election is about a blanket platform. I would prefer candidates that allow some flexibility and take each vote/issue that comes up on its own merits. Election isn't the only time the constituency gets a say in how their elected official(s) act. I think far too many people forget or underestimate writing to or calling their elected officials. I do it regularly and think everyone should when there is an issue about which they feel strongly. It's how we get our representative say. Elected officials can't adequately represent us if we just stay silent until election day. Democracy is a process, not an event.

amuirin said...

No, I'm not kidding in the least.

It said in this reading that he promised to veto, then had this change of heart and turned around and signed instead.

If you guys are cool with that, great.

I'm not. It's deceitful and he didn't uphold the trust of those who elected him.

No matter what your political inclinations are, that is still true.

And you give up the right to complain about lying politicians if you are willing to support this behavior just because his switch aligns with your values.

Webs said...

Amurin: What would you say if Bush said I am sorry and pulled out of Iraq? According to what you say all Liberals should stand up and say, "Hell no put them back! You promised us we would be in Iraq till the job is done!" (Something Bush actually promised)

What would you say if Bush finally allowed Stem Cell Research? Again all Liberals should stand up in defiance. What would you say if Bush stood up and renounced the inclusion of religion into politics? The list just goes on and on.

Essentially you are creating a system where a politician can never do the RIGHT thing because they HAVE to do what they promised. I just can't see how that is good.

Isn't it more important that a politician does the right thing? And if not, how would such a government ever succeed, being based on promises?

amuirin said...

Well, that's a slippery slope because you're discussing 'the right thing' like it's clearly dilineated.

People have very different ideas about what the right thing is. Also, Bush has followed his own agenda on the Iraq issue, pushing against the will of others.

That is exactly the same thing this mayor is doing. He broke a promise to follow his own agenda, despite the fact that the people who elected him did so based on the promises he made earlier on.

if he truly couldn't do the right thing without going back on his word he should have absented himself from the decision, even if that meant resigning.

Webs said...

Also, Bush has followed his own agenda on the Iraq issue, pushing against the will of others.
While I will concede that conservatives are now starting to step up and go against Bush's policy on Iraq, Bush was re-elected in 2004 by a majority vote on a campaign of staying the course in Iraq. So again, I ask, if he went against his campaign promise should liberals stand up in defiance of this?

The rest is a rant on this issue not really directed toward anyone in particular:

Essentially what we should want out of our politicians is someone that can look at evidence, listen to advisors (I think a requirement of all presidents should be to have at least one administration member from the opposing parties), and make intelligent decisions. Along with that I feel we need Presidents that can say I was wrong, I made a mistake, I am sorry.

When we treat our presidents like some superhuman authority that can never be wrong, than we get situations like with Clinton. And when we don't allow Presidents to backtrack on their decisions and say, "I got it wrong" we get into quagmires like Iraq.

Why is it shameful to admit being wrong? Why is it so hard? Why does our society allow it to be so hard? There is nothing wrong with being wrong on an issue.

amuirin said...

I don't know.

Honestly, I think most liberals stand up in defiance of Bush regardless of what promises he kept or didn't keep.

At the moment I am feeling a lot more defiant towards the democrats I helped vote into power who have not stood up against conservative issues that I feel erode freedoms. I don't think they've fulfilled a lot of what they said they would do during the legislative campaigning.

Maybe they are so many issues, it's politically expedient to 'go along' on some. But if I vote someone in to fulfill a job they say they are going to do, and they dont do it I want to know why. And if they turn around and do the opposite of what they said they were going to do, they have betrayed my trust and they will lose my support. I will not consider their 'courage' standing up because it was only possible when they rode on the shoulders of those who put them in a position of power, people who believed they would act on the intentious they espoused.