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Exclusive: SF Mayor Gavin Newsom Asked Court to Delay Prop 8 Ruling

Confidential sources close to San Francisco City Hall told Towleroad's Corey Johnson that the California Supreme Court was prepared to release its opinion on Proposition 8 tomorrow, but decided to delay the ruling after a call from Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Newsom"Newsom reached out to the Supreme Court and asked them to hold off releasing their decision so it did not coincide with the White Night riots," said our source.

As mentioned earlier, a ruling Thursday would have fallen on the 30th anniversary of the San Francisco riots, which were set off when the court handed down the most lenient decision possible (voluntary manslaughter) against Dan White for the murders of supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The ensuing riots in San Francisco on May 21, 1979 caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

UPDATE: Towleroad received this tip from a highly credible source who did the interview on the condition that they remain anonymous. We have been working to get additional sources.

Gavin Newsom's office has issued a release denying the story.

San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty spoke with Towleroad late this afternoon, saying he doubted the claims. Said Dufty: "It is implausible if not impossible to imagine that the Mayor could reach out to the California Supreme Court. Any thinking person would know that he would be radioactive to the justices given his leadership on the issue. His father is a retired federal judge. The Mayor's courage on this issue is unimpeachable. He would not intrude in what we've been waiting for."

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  1. Good move Gavy-poo.

    Posted by: Tralfaz | May 20, 2009 3:29:38 PM

  2. We lost. Apparently New Hampshire as well.



    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | May 20, 2009 3:31:44 PM

  3. This doesn't seem like good news.

    Mayor Newsom doesn't know the ruling, but the Supreme Court does. I think they're avoiding piling it on tomorrow. Remembering the White Night Riots, oh, and by the way, nope, you still can't get married.

    If Prop 8 is upheld, I hope demonstrations are big and loud and successful. But please, guys, keep it civil.

    I'll see y'all at the demonstrations in NYC.

    Posted by: Nathan | May 20, 2009 3:39:34 PM

  4. How did we lose New Hampshire?
    And yes, it does increasingly look like we've lost in CA.

    Posted by: Bob | May 20, 2009 3:42:32 PM

  5. @ JohnInManhatten...

    How did we lose NH? The Governor wanted language that guaranteed a church could not be forced to marry a couple that they did not want to marry. That already happens. A Catholic church can turn down a divorced person, etc.

    It's going to pass. I'm so proud to be in New England. :-)

    Posted by: Ric | May 20, 2009 3:44:04 PM

  6. I'll stay positive..........BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS YET morons.

    Anyways, Thanks Gavin....We don't need to be destructive. If Prop8 stays...I guess I'll take it to the streets and fight it...Not just sit on front of my computer and whine about some fat old queens in here.

    I have seen peaceful protests...and they have won.

    Posted by: Bosie | May 20, 2009 3:45:54 PM

  7. Well, the plump lady hasn't sang just yet. But if the court does rule against us, it'll just be another black mark in the history books that these monsters will have to try to live down once we've ultimately defeated them (which we most assuredly will).

    Posted by: ichabod | May 20, 2009 3:47:25 PM

  8. johninmanhattan, I'm echoing the commenters confused by your NH comment. Do you have information? Frankly, I'm surprised that any mayor can even contact a state supreme court, much less ask them to release a ruling on a case in any certain time frame. How could he know the ruling? What incentive would the court have to do what the governor requests? Why would the court consider historical signifance at all? I feel sick.

    Posted by: K | May 20, 2009 3:58:45 PM

  9. I don't know - I think Newsom was being awfully paternalistic making sure we queers wouldn't misbehave because of the anniversary.

    Posted by: Faith | May 20, 2009 3:59:42 PM

  10. New Hampshire lawmakers REJECT gay marriage bill:

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | May 20, 2009 4:00:15 PM

  11. Honestly, I think a little destructiveness can be good once in a while. I don't think we need that in San Francisco, but San Diego? LA? 90% of the rest of America? No one should be hurt or attacked or anything like that, but taking a bite out of the courts that took a bite out of our equality seems like just any other kind of civil disobedience to me.

    Posted by: Ryan | May 20, 2009 4:04:52 PM

  12. fingers crossed!

    Posted by: Kevin | May 20, 2009 4:07:14 PM

  13. Protests WILL happen no matter the outcome.

    Given that JUNE is around the corner, and it being GAY PRIDE month, there will be a lot of people ready and available to protest.

    I pray there will actually be CELEBRATIONS.
    I still feel not all is lost.

    Posted by: FunMe | May 20, 2009 4:11:00 PM

  14. White Night was one of our proudest moments.

    And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 20, 2009 4:15:34 PM

  15. Marriage has NOT failed in NH. The House voted to negotiate the changes with the Senate (from the AP):

    CONCORD, N.H.—A divided New Hampshire House has refused to go along with changes the governor demanded to make his state the sixth to allow gay marriage. Instead, it voted to further negotiate with the Senate.

    The Senate passed the changes 14-10 Wednesday, but the House failed to agree later in the day by a vote of 188-186. Opponents tried to kill the bill, but failed. The House then voted 207-168 to ask the Senate to negotiate a compromise.

    Gov. John Lynch said last week he wouldn't sign the legislation without language to better protect churches and their employees against lawsuits if their beliefs preclude them from marrying gays.

    Posted by: John from Boston | May 20, 2009 4:18:24 PM

  16. I don't particularly buy it. It's not like there are that many people gays still alive in SF that remember the riots and would also be motivated to act any worse after a negative decision tomorrow than they would the next scheduled announcement day.

    But if he did, it's not "paternalistic," it's simply practical.

    And, Friday night raise a toast to Harvey....that's his birthday. And ya might want to throw in a, "And I'm sorry we've not been fighting as hard for ourselves as you would have wanted."

    Posted by: Leland Frances | May 20, 2009 4:20:10 PM

  17. "We lost. Apparently New Hampshire as well."

    We haven't lost in NH. The House lawmakers rejected the governor's proposed changes (which were overkill religious exemptions designed to placate the right) to the bill and voted to send it back to the Senate for further negotiation. A discouraging delay, but they did not reject marriage equality. Let's hope they can find a compromise ASAP.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 20, 2009 4:20:46 PM

  18. Newsom obviously knows the gist of the ruling - if not the details - by now. San Francisco is a small town.

    The California Supreme Court meets across the street from his office. And there are always aides and clerks going back and forth. I'm sure rumors are spreading like wildfire through City Hall.

    Posted by: John | May 20, 2009 4:22:37 PM

  19. I just called Newsom's office and they are denying this completely. RUMORS are abounding and we all need to CALM DOWN.

    Posted by: Franko | May 20, 2009 4:24:52 PM

  20. Yes, we do know the outcome. I would hope if it is upheld, there would hundred of thousands of people holding a candle-light vigil like the deaths of Milk and Moscone. Love always conquers hate.

    Posted by: Tim Lorenz | May 20, 2009 4:25:37 PM

  21. Leland writes MANY MANY stupid comments but "there are not many people alive who still remember an event that took place in 1978?" well well he has hit a new low of stupidity ... what did every 14 year old alive then die before reaching the young age of 45 in this year?

    1978 was not that long ago.
    And no not every gay person in SF died since then.

    Posted by: Ralph | May 20, 2009 4:26:20 PM

  22. This IS NOT exclusive to ur site, has been up on Azire Times site since this morning....

    Posted by: K Lee | May 20, 2009 4:26:54 PM

  23. Newsom has no more definitive knowledge than the rest of us. Isn't this exactly what you would want any good mayor to do--have an awareness of the city's history and try to avert unfortunate coincidences that might further stoke people's emotions (not to mention conspiracy theories)?

    Posted by: Gianpiero | May 20, 2009 4:27:10 PM

  24. White Night was NOT one of our proudest moments. It was a violent, scary few nights in San Francisco. Harvey, our hero and leader, was dead, and the one who killed him got off. But the violence didn't change anything.

    Posted by: Was There | May 20, 2009 4:29:34 PM

  25. As a "fat old queen" I hope that civil unrest happens more frequently than once every 30 years. Meantime, I ain't gonna hold my breath waiting for the Chelsea Muscle Marys to take to the barricades.

    Posted by: mike shackleford | May 20, 2009 4:32:33 PM

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