Maggie Gallagher

Thank God for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

If, when the dust settles at the ballot box this Nov. 4, California voters definitively repudiate the California Supreme Court's unjust gay marriage ruling by voting Yes on Proposition 8, Mayor Gavin Newsom will be a big part of the reason why.

Even the San Francisco Chronicle acknowledged on Monday that in recent weeks, Mayor Newsom's role in the gay marriage debate "has turned decidedly unheroic."

"He's become everyone's worst nightmare," said Barbara O'Connor, a professor of political communications at Sacramento State University

Gay marriage is coming "whether you like it or not," Mayor Newsom intones in news clips featured in the first round of Yes-on-Proposition-8 ads, looking unbearably smug and arrogant in dictating the future of marriage for the rest of California from his San Francisco perch. (See the ads for yourself at www.protectmarriage.com.)

Public opinion polls showed a dramatic surge in support for Prop 8 after these Yes-on-Propostion-8 ads featuring Newsom hit the airwaves. Faced with a dramatic drop in public support once the real potential consequences of gay marriage for parents, public schools, church groups and others are highlighted, gay marriage advocates have responded with a rebuttal ad. (See it at www.noonprop8.com.)

Their allegedly pro-gay marriage message? Labeling the concerns that public schools will teach about gay marriage, if we permit gay marriage to remain the law of the land, as just "lies!"

Right. What do gay marriage advocates think public schools should teach about marriage if gay marriage is the law of the land? Could we have a reasonably honest discussion please about what you have in store for California's first-graders?

Instead of standing their ground and defending their moral views, gay marriage advocates are simply pretending to voters that legalizing gay marriage won't affect anyone else at all.

Marriage is a publicly affirmed status -- a shared social ideal -- not just a private act. When the government says gay unions are the ideal -- exactly the same as husband and wife -- a whole lot of people who disagree are going to find life gets a whole lot harder, especially when it comes to raising our children.

So what does Mayor Newsom, the poster boy for arrogance among gay marriage advocates, do in the middle of this campaign to deceive California voters about the real consequences of gay marriage?

Why, he presides over a lesbian teacher's wedding ceremony at City Hall, to which public school children are bused, at taxpayer expense, during school hours. (Newsom claims he wasn't aware of that fact when he agreed to preside.)

That's right. Taxpayers paid for first-graders to take time from reading, writing and 'rithmetic to strew rose petals after a lesbian marriage ceremony -- no doubt in the belief that there was something educational about witnessing a historic civil rights victory the courts have endorsed as the law of the land.

Let me be clear about one thing: I know many, many gay people who have no truck with the arrogance of so many leaders of the gay marriage movement in California (see for example www.gaypatriot.net). I even know some gay people (though, not very many) who think marriage means a husband and wife, and that the California solution struck down by the courts -- civil unions for gay couples, marriage remains marriage -- is common sense, not some kind of gross injustice motivated by seething hatred to gay folks.

If Prop 8 loses, expect a lot more public schools to join Mayor Newsom's crusade to promote gay marriage, "whether you like it or not."

People who think that's a good thing should have the decency to stand up before California voters and say so, instead of pretending it's not going to happen.

It already has.


COPYRIGHT 2008 MAGGIE GALLAGHER Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate


Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.