New and Venerable Institutions: Wedstock

Mayor Gavin Newsom with Kate Kendall at City Hall on February 12, 2005.

Wedstock: "A defiant Mayor Gavin Newsom spoke to an audience of thousands of gay men and women on February 12, the first anniversary of his decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Four thousands gay couples wed here last year before the California Supreme Court struck the marriages down several weeks later.

"Newsom denounced politicians who ask gays and lesbians for money then tell them it's too soon for them to have equal rights. In a speech that some City Hall watchers said was his strongest to date, the mayor saved the rousing round of shame for President George W. Bush.

"In his historic remarks, Newsom led the chorus, "Shame on you! Shame on you!" I couldn't help thinking of the more than two decades of bull dykes, drag queens, leather guys, and other street gays I've heard deliver exactly the same outcry. Now the baton has been passed to a seemingly conventional straight, white, Irish Catholic mayor. As one wag put it, Newsom is "all guts, big glory, and of course great hair.'" Heart of the City 02/22/05

(Play "Shame on you" clip, 3MB Quicktime.)

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Copyright 2005 Hank Donat home