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Prop. 8: San Diego mayor, once a gay-marriage foe, cheers ruling

 San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican whose support for same-sex marriage puts him at odds with conservative elements in his party, hailed the court decision regarding Prop. 8 as "another huge step towards creating a society where everyone is afforded the right to marry."

Sanders said that "marriage encourages people to take responsibility for each other, provides greater security for children, and helps our country live up to the promises set forth in our founding documents. These are important values for a strong society and we should encourage them."

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster's said he also viewed the Prop. 8 decision as "an important step towards marriage equality." 


"To me, this issue is one of fundamental fairness and it is heartening to see that belief validated by today's ruling," Foster said in a prepared statement.

When he ran for mayor of San Diego in 2005, Sanders opposed same-sex marriage but reversed his position, saying his previous opposition stemmed from prejudice.

At the federal trial over Prop. 8, Sanders told the court that when his elder daughter, Lisa,  was in college, she told him she was a lesbian and that he later changed his position after a meeting with gay friends and neighbors.

"I was absolutely shocked at the depth of the hurt, the depth of the feeling," he testified about that meeting.

The San Diego mayor recently joined a coalition of big-city mayors in a Washington news conference favoring a nationwide campaign to permit same-sex marriage.


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-- Tony Perry and Ruben Vives

Photo: San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders hugs his daughter Lisa as her partner Meaghan Yaple looks on after a news conference in San Francisco last year during the the court case involving Prop. 8. Credit: Associated Press

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