San Diego’s Republican Mayor Changes His Mind About Gay Marriage

Just one day after pledging to veto Tuesday’s pro-gay marriage resolution by the San Diego City Council, Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders abruptly switched gears yesterday and signed the resolution, outing his lesbian daughter in the process.

Fighting back tears, Sanders told reporters, “Two years ago, I believed that civil unions were a fair alternative. Those beliefs, in my case, have since changed. The concept of a ‘separate but equal’ institution is not something that I can support.” Sanders said that he wanted his daughter and other gay people he knows to have their relationships equally protected under the law, adding, “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.”

Sanders has been otherwise supportive of gay rights and has appeared in San Diego’s gay pride parades. His daughter, who is in a relationship, came out to him four years ago, but was not out publicly until Sanders’ revelation on Wednesday. San Diego, the nation’s 8th largest city, now joins San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Long Beach among California cities officially supporting marriage equality.

Thank Mayor Sanders by emailing him at [email protected] or calling his office at (619) 236-6330. Read the complete transcript of Sanders’ emotional press conference over on San Diego resident Rex Wockner’s blog.

UPDATE: Watch Mayor Sanders almost break down making his announcement. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m completely verklempt, seriously. Could he be California’s next governor?