Republicans “betrayed” by mayor’s gay marriage u-turn

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An editorial in Tuesday’s Los Angeles Times congratulated San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders for showing “impressive courage last week when he embraced the right of same-sex couples to marry.”

Gay rights groups were similarly effusive in their praise of the Republican ex-cop who sent shockwaves through the city and nation when he signed a City Council resolution supporting a challenge to California’s gay marriage ban.

The mayor’s about face may have pleased supporters of gay rights, but it didn’t please many of his political partymates.

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, about 25 politicians, including school trustees, planning commissioners and city councilmen, gathered outside the El Cajon courthouse yesterday in a show of solidarity against Sanders.

“We have all felt the betrayal of trust by the San Diego City Council and the mayor in support of gay marriage,” Sylvia Sullivan, president of the East County chapter of the California Republican Assembly, told the newspaper on Wednesday.

Another Republican, Santee Councilman Brian Jones, told The San Diego Union-Tribune he is forming a political action committee that will “track activist judges and activist legislators” who do not uphold Proposition 22, the state measure that bans gay marriage.

Mayor Sanders previously had gone on record saying he would veto the gay marriage resolution, but said he changed his mind, in part, because of his daughter, who is gay.

“I just could not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community that they were less important, less worthy and less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage than anyone else simply because of their sexual orientation,” he said during a press conferenece on September 19 while wife Rana stood by his side.

Sanders has been mum on the subject ever since last week’s press conference.

The only response he had to yesterday’s commentary, in fact, came from spokesman George Biagi, who told reporters, “the mayor has said all he’s going to say on this matter.”

Bryan Ochalla © 2007; All Rights Reserved.