Thursday, August 12, 2004

Mayor Gavin Newsom on Thursday's gay marriage ruling:

"Today, my heart is heavy. But I am not discouraged. In fact, I am more deeply resolved than ever before to continue our fight against injustice and discrimination. This ruling in no way minimizes the joy, the commitment and the courage of those 4,037 couples married here in San Francisco. It merely strengthens our resolve to ensure that they and every gay American is afforded equality under the law.
"With respect, I disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling but we will abide by it and instruct all City and County staff accordingly. As Mayor, I am sworn to uphold the constitution of the state of California, which plainly states: '[a] person may not be…denied equal protection of the laws.' There is no such thing as a separate but equal institution – and certainly marriage is no exception.
"As a city, and as a country, we cannot tolerate discrimination – and we cannot accept separate but unequal.
The ruling today left unresolved the broader question of whether it is constitutional to deny equal protection under the law to any American. This ruling is merely a temporary delay in our ongoing struggle for equality. It will not stop our fight to ensure that the most fundamental institution – the institution of marriage – is open to every San Franciscan, every Californian, and every American.
"We will prevail. If not today or this year, then next year or the year after that. We will not stop until we have righted this wrong. And when that happens, I look forward to welcoming back the over 4,000 couples married here in City Hall, to give them the opportunity to once again reaffirm their love and commitment this time without threat or fear."

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