Locals to ask mayor to support same-sex marriage
Marriage rights activists will deliver a petition asking Mayor Kevin Johnson to join other mayors in support of same-sex marriage Tuesday morning at City Hall in a move they said they hope will cause him to consider endorsing Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.
“We’re not trying to force anybody’s hand or be aggressive in any way,” said Neil Pople, communications director for the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento and author of the petition. It has more than 300 signatures and is posted here. “We want to positively encourage the mayor and let him know that there are people who want this to happen.”
Last week’s ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against Proposition 8 – an amendment to the California Constitution that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman – was not the main thrust behind the petition drive, according to Pople, who said he started it several weeks ago.
“It started picking up progress around that time, but that wasn’t when it started,” he said.
The original goal was to get 200 signatures, and Pople said that seeing more than 300 on the petition Monday was “fantastic.”
While anybody – gay or straight, Sacramentan or not – can sign the petition, Pople said he thinks signatures from locals will be the ones that have the most impact on the mayor, as they are his constituents.
“I’m hopeful that people will listen to what’s right and wrong and treat each other with dignity,” he said. “I was born in Sacramento, and I want to eventually get married, and I want to be able to do that in my hometown."
Coordinating the delivery of the petition will be Roy Westfall, who said he, local Democrats and others will deliver the petition at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
“I have a partner of three years, and this is important to me,” Westfall said. “I want my mayor to support my rights, and there’s a big difference between personal beliefs and the government’s actions. This is about separation of church and state.”
Johnson’s representatives did not return messages left Monday by press time.
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.