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San Diego Mayor's Court Testimony Boosts Prop 8 Lawsuit

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By Minara El-Rahman on January 20, 2010 11:45 AM

It seems like those opposed to the Prop 8 legislation passed in California have a friend in Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego. NBC News reports that the Republican mayor gave court testimony of how he supports gay marriage after he learned that his daughter was a lesbian and wanted to marry her partner. He said: "I believe the government should allow everyone to get married in exactly the same way."

The San Diego mayor has admitted that he was biased before he learned about his own daughter's struggles. He had said that gay marriages "were less important than those of heterosexuals" prior to his discovery. Mr. Sanders went back on his campaign pledge to veto a bill that legalized gay marriage in the city of San Diego.

The mayor went on the record to say that he thought that the Prop 8 legislation had discriminatory intent. He testified that the legislation sends the message that gay citizens are not important: "We don't think that you folks have the same type of relationship or love each other as much, so we're not going to allow you to be married."

He recounted how his own daughter Lisa had to travel to Vermont in order to be legally married. The New York Times quoted his testimony: "My daughter deserves the same opportunity to be married in front of friends family and coworkers." He spoke of his own sadness that Lisa could not be married in California.

The mayor's testimony was coupled with expert testimony of Lee Badgett, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He estimated that there would be an increase of $490 million dollars spent on marriages alone, translating to a wedding-related tax revenue of about $40 million over three years in the state of California if gay marriage was legalized.

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