Hillary Clinton visited San Francisco this week to receive the endorsement of it’s mayor, Gavin Newson.
Newsom used a separate ocassion – later that day – to discuss his pioneering efforts in the history of gay marriage.
The Mayor was honored by the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association of the American BAR Association.
The San Francisco Sentinel published portions of his speech he gave that evening.
“You always look back; was it the right thing to do, the timing issue, was there a better approach, could you have just used the legal process to advance litigation.
“I never — ever, ever, ever — could have imagined that I would have been identified with this issue as I’ve been identified.
“It’s not something I campaigned on, it’s not something that frankly I gave a lot of thought to.
“It was circumstantical. I was reacting to something. I felt powerless and I said, ‘Migawd, I’ve been given this incredible gift to be the mayor of this City I love so dearly.’
“And I have an opportunity to at least put a human face on this issue and that’s all we were really trying to do.
“We were trying to do something that you can’t do any other way except by forcing people to reconcile a different type of reality than their own. Not in the abstract but to look at that narrative and look at the story of life at the time of the two people we had in mind — Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin.
“And to sit there and to have to defend why it is that a 51-year relationship of faith, love and trust was somehow ‘lesser’ than your five-week relationship going to Vegas so say ‘I do.’
“And so for that I make no apologies, and I’m really proud of that moment.
“I heard Monday morning that George Bush says the same thing, and countless others, that the mainstream position on marriage equality is civil unions.
“Democrats five years ago still had a hard time five years ago with domestic partnerships. Republicans in most cases never even wanted to reflect upon it.
“But now everbody has jumped to the easier question of equality by immediately attaching themselves to civil unions — a safer position and the more mainstream position.
“That shows how far we’ve come in just a few short years.
“I don’t look back as if the last few years where we lost some court decisions, or some states have moved to try to close the door on marriage equality as failures.
“I don’t look back at those examples as setbacks because the door has opened.
“And it’s wide open and there’s no way they will ever be able to close it.
“And with respect to what Barrack said, and I have great admiration for him, it’s just simply not true.
“Civil Unions are lesser than marriage.
“Respectfully, for the same reason that Barrack Obama and others are not running to get rid of their Marriage Licenses to become civil unions.
“If you believe in full equality you’ve got to demonstrate it by stepping up, and I think eventually these guys will.
“I think in their hearts they already know its the right thing.”
PHOTOS BY BILL WILSON, Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel