Task Force calls San Diego mayor a 'profile in courage and conviction'

September 20, 2007

Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 — San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced yesterday that he had changed his mind and would sign a City Council resolution directing the city attorney to file a brief in support of same-sex marriage with the California Supreme Court. The mayor had previously said he would veto the resolution.

He said that, “As I reflected...I just could not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community that they were less important, less worthy and less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage — than anyone else — simply because of their sexual orientation.” He concluded his emotional remarks saying, “I have close family members and friends who are members of the gay and lesbian community. These folks include my daughter Lisa and her partner, as well as members of my personal staff. I want for them the same thing that we all want for our loved ones — for each of them to find a mate whom they love deeply and who loves them back; someone with whom they can grow old together and share life’s wondrous adventures. And I want their relationships to be protected equally under the law. 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 Rana.”

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ emotional statement brought me — and I know millions of other gay and lesbian people — to tears. Simply, directly, and most importantly from the heart, he said what we yearn to hear from our leaders — that our relationships are just as meaningful and just as deserving of the same protections as everyone else’s. Mayor Sanders will go into the history books as a profile in courage and conviction. He stands in stark contrast to Governor Schwarzenegger’s threatened veto of the marriage equality bill that will be on his desk within days and to leading Democratic presidential candidates who cannot bring themselves to say we are truly equal.”

For the CBS video of Sanders’ statement go to:

For the Associated Press report go to:


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.