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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom compares the issue of same-sex marriage to racial discrimination and chastises politicians who claim they support equality for all, yet do not support gay marriage. “How can you argue separate is not equal and then argue that separate is equal, but only if you’re gay?”
Facing a tumultuous economic climate and a massive city deficit, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has tough decisions to make in 2009 in his quest to keep San Francisco a thriving center for commerce and a livable city.
With a potential 2010 run for governor in his future, Newsom sits down for a frank and candid discussion about the issues facing the city.
Gavin Christopher Newsom is the current mayor of San Francisco. A Democrat, Newsom was elected mayor in 2003, succeeding Willie Brown and becoming San Francisco’s youngest mayor in 100 years. Newsom graduated in 1989 from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. His PlumpJack Wine Shop, founded in 1992, grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise. He was first appointed by Willie Brown to serve on San Francisco’s Parking and Traffic Commission in 1996, and was appointed the following year as Supervisor. Newsom drew voter attention with his Care Not Cash program, designed to move homeless people into city assisted care. He defeated Matt Gonzalez by 6% in his race for mayor in 2003. Newsom was reelected in the November 7 2007 mayoral election with 72 percent of the vote.
In 2004, Newsom gained national attention when he directed the San Francisco city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In August 2004, the Supreme Court of California annulled the marriages that Newsom had authorized, as they conflicted with state law at that time. Still, Newsom’s unexpected move brought national attention to the issues of gay marriage and gay rights, solidifying political support for Newsom in San Francisco and in the gay community, and causing several other states to change their laws concerning marriage and gay rights. Newsom is viewed in many political circles as a potential candidate for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election.