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Openly Gay Councilman's Recent Comments on Redevelopment Ruling May Indicate Shift in Political Philosophy

"What about the will of the voters?"

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 8, which amended the the California State Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. But in 2010, United States district court Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned Proposition 8, and issued an injunction against its enforcement, pending appeal.

At the time, Councilman Todd Gloria was thrilled with Judge Walker's actions. Speaking with Maureen Cavanaugh on KPBS's These Days, Gloria said, "You know, obviously, as an openly gay man, you know, when Proposition 8 passed, it hurt personally. You know, it hurt my heart because it made me think that a majority of Californians didn’t want me and people like me to have full equality. And what this ruling does is it reminds us all that in America, we all are to be treated the same and that you can’t have a separate and unequal system of marriage in this country. And the judge’s ruling was extremely eloquent..."

But yesterday, Gloria weighed in on KPBS's Midday Edition coverage of the California Supreme Court's ruling that redevelopment agencies could legally be eliminated, and his comments there have some in the GLBT community worried. Nestor Prynne, Chariman of the Prop 8 Opposition Organizational Program (POOP), put it this way:

"Look at the Councilman's words: 'Well, I am surprised to the extent that in 2010, voters approved Proposition 22 by over 60% of the vote, and what that was supposed to do was to really safeguard these funds, to really tell Sacramento that you cannot continue to balance your budget by raiding local funds. We thought we had a pretty darn good case. Naturally, the court disagreed. That’s their prerogative to do that, but again, we sort of question, what happened to the will of the voters who said, "We don’t want any more of this?"'"

Prynne compares that to this statement from Brian Griese, head of the Men Against Gay Marriage Association (MAGMA): "In 2008, voters approved Proposition 8 by over 52% of the vote, and what that was supposed to do was to really safeguard traditional marriage, to really tell Sacramento that you cannot continue to redefine marriage by simple fiat. We thought we had a pretty darn good case. Naturally, the court disagreed. That's their prerogative to do that, but again, we sort of question, what happened to the will of the voters who said, 'We don't want gay marriage?'"

"Councilman Gloria used to have faith in the wisdom of the court," concludes Prynne. "But now, he seems to have gone over to the wisdom of the crowd - the will of the voters. But if that's the case, well - the people did vote to ban same-sex marriage. Frankly, I'm more than a little concerned."

Calls made by SDQT to the Councilman's offices via tin-can-on-a-string have thus far gone unanswered.

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