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Republican mayor of San Diego "thrilled" by Prop. 8 ruling

August 4, 2010 |  7:15 pm

The Republican mayor of San Diego, who defied elements in his party by declaring in 2007 that he supports same-sex marriage, said he is "absolutely thrilled" by the court ruling striking down Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure that banned same-sex marriages.

"I think Judge Walker did a great job of listening to the arguments and making the right decision," said Mayor Jerry Sanders, just minutes before attending a celebratory rally at San Diego's Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transsexual Community Center.

Sanders said he would like San Diego County to resume issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples but he understands the need to wait until litigation is complete, probably with a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

As a candidate for mayor in 2005, Sanders, a former police chief, said he opposed gay marriage. When the City Council in fall 2007 passed a measure supporting a lawsuit favoring gay-marriage rights, Sanders was expected to veto it.

But in a tearful news conference, Sanders said that out of respect for his lesbian daughter and gay members of his staff, he could not veto the measure and could not support the idea that same-sex relationships are less worthy of respect than those between straight couples.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego