Monday, July 22, 2013

San Diego county clerk embarrases everyone

We have all been expecting one of the 58 county clerks in CA to join the H8ers in their attempt to shut down marriages in CA.  But I'm sure everyone thought it would be one of the clerks in Red California--the largely conservative, rural inland areas.

How embarrassing that it turns out to be the clerk in San Diego.  While San Diego trends fiscally conservative, and there are pockets of social conservativism, most of the Republicans are practical business types.  San Diego has actually become quite gay friendly.  Our last mayor (a Republican) was a marriage supporter, and the Republican nominee to replace him is openly gay. 

You should have no doubt about where this originates:
Dronenburg’s lawyers, the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, it should be noted, have on their board of directors one concerned citizen of note not mentioned in his Supreme Court petition: Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, the group that was the top financial contributor responsible for getting Prop 8 on the ballot in 2008.
Meanwhile, the LA Times notes that the largely-Republican County supervisors are quite annoyed. 
 San Diego County's Board of Supervisors, a majority of whom are Republican, sought to distance themselves from Dronenburg's action, which was filed for him by Charles S. LiMandri, a Rancho Santa Fe attorney and leader of the bid to restrict marriage to a man and a woman.

"The county clerk has acted independently on this matter,'' board Supervisor Greg Cox said. "No one else from the county was consulted or had any part of this court action, including the Board of Supervisors. The county's position is and always has been that we, the county, will follow applicable law with regards to same-sex marriage." 
Supervisor David Roberts, who is gay, said that as soon as he heard what Dronenburg had done, he demanded a meeting to find out his motives. 
"I was livid, to say the least," Roberts said. "As the first LGBT supervisor, with a married partner, I felt this was a slap in the face. But he says that's not what this is about. We'll see." 
Gay rights groups reacted with rage and disdain to the latest filing. 
Ted Boutros, one of the lawyers who challenged Proposition 8 in federal court, said the petition was "just as meritless and desperate" as the one filed by ProtectMarriage. It cannot change the fact, he said, that "marriage equality has returned."
Importantly, the clerk continues to issue licenses and people continue to get married in the meantime.

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