Gavin Newsom was mayor of San Francisco for just one month before he pissed off the President of the United States.
But that was the goal. After President George Bush called for a constitutional marriage ban in his State of the Union, San Francisco’s newly-elected mayor racked his brains for an appropriately defiant response. He was sure he’d hit on the perfect solution: let gays and lesbians marry.
To his surprise, the plan encountered strong resistance from queer leaders, including those within his own staff. The timing was wrong, they told him; it was too risky; as a straight man, it wasn’t his fight.
But he stuck to his guns, and soon there were lines of same-sex couples ringing San Francisco City Hall, broadcast internationally and propelling marriage equality into the spotlight.
Then came the backlash, both in the form of more marriage bans across the country and repercussions to Newsom’s career. Was it worth it?
“It's never the right time to do the right thing when it comes to politics and politicians,” he told me years later. “Which means it's always the right time to do the right thing.”
Parisian Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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