STATEMENT - Gavin Newsom on SCOTUS Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: "The fight for equality is not over. Far from it."


06-26-2015

(San Francisco) - California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom issues the following statement on today's marriage equality rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court:

"'We have abundant reason to rejoice that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition.' The wisdom of these words, penned by President Washington and now more than two centuries old, remind us that American Democracy is an evolving journey, perfected with the passage of time.

"Indeed our present day comprehension of marriage -- based upon love and lifelong loyalty -- is itself an evolution in the institution of marriage.

"I celebrate today's decision but recognize that the fight for equality is not over. Far from it. As we look to the future, I urge those with whom I have walked this march to continue forward with vigilance and resolve.

"Many similar milestones - such as the Nineteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 - continue to be challenged and undermined by courts and laws across the states by those unable to temper their hatred. Dissimulated discrimination, like RFRA laws and the Hobby Lobby decision, are evidence that enlightenment develops on a separate and slower track."

"There remains a long list of rights that must be guaranteed before the LGBT community achieves equality under the law. There are no federal workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We are nowhere near providing adequate protections for the rights of transgender Americans."

"This cause for celebration closes one chapter of civil right injustices enforced by state laws. To deny the value of any love, devalues all love. The nation has traveled full circle in the eleven years since San Francisco's Winter of Love, but the underlying prejudices have not disappeared. Some remain self-imprisoned by their own enmity, seeking to deny the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of their neighbors while overlooking Samuel Adams' insight that "the truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought.'"

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Thirty-six days into his first term as Mayor of San Francisco in 2004, Gavin Newsom threw himself into one of the most divisive issues in U.S. politics at that time by allowing same sex couples to marry in violation of state and federal law. More than 4,000 couples married before the courts intervened. Newsom said at the time it was a matter of principle, not a matter of politics.

Below: The late Del Martin, center left, and Phyllis Lyon, center right, are married by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, center, in a special ceremony at City Hall in San Francisco, Monday, June 16, 2008. Lyon and Martin became the first officially married same sex couple after California's Supreme Court declared gay marriage legal.