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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. David Ehrenstein,

    Thank you. I agree. The White Night Riots and the Stonewall rights are among our finest moments.

    Posted by: Eric | May 20, 2009 4:51:48 PM

  2. I support civil disobedience and breaking a few things here and there. We have been marginalized and shunned for too long. I am 37 and obviously didn't witness all that came before me but I am sick of the complacency. F*uck the church esp LDS, F*ck Obama and his empty rhetoric and F*ck all the Repubs and some of the democrats. We need to stand and DEMAND our rights!

    Posted by: Dwayne | May 20, 2009 4:59:19 PM

  3. I fully agree: while the White Night riots were scary, the impact they had on our history cannot be underestimated. For the rest of California, and the nation, to see our angry strength in all its fury was ultimately empowering... Stereotypes were immediately shattered...

    Posted by: Proudtobedad | May 20, 2009 5:01:28 PM

  4. You're welcome.

    The only way we've ever gotten anywhere was by KICKING ASS!!!!!!

    What cripples our movement is the "Best Little/Boy/Girl/etc. in the World" syndrome.
    HRC, NLGTF and GLAAD are all about being Nicey-Nice. As if acting that way ever got us jack shit!

    Our enemies LOVE the idea of a cowed and cowardly LBGT community -- too "sensitive" to fight back.

    Stonewall and White Night showed them how mistaken they were.

    We MUST go for THREE!!!!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 20, 2009 5:03:00 PM

  5. @ Bossy or Bosie or whatever the fuck your name is.

    What's with the 'tude?

    You don't have to be such an arrogant prick.

    Posted by: Tralfaz | May 20, 2009 5:03:17 PM

  6. If we lose this battle in CA, we will protest and show our outrage, note to self, in a non-violent way. However, we eventually will win, either next week, next year or in the next decade. All these ups and downs are part of our community's heroic and historic fight for the civil rights. Make no mistake, regardless what happens next week in CA, we are winning this war on ignorance.

    Posted by: Joe in SF | May 20, 2009 5:03:41 PM

  7. This is an unsourced story. It sounds like a rumor that may have been created to rile people up. I think this is important enough that if the source and/or sources were willing to "leak" this story they should also go on the record as well. "Leaks" are always motivated by some agenda. Andy -- since you and your associate are the persons "reporting" this story/rumor, based on what you know about the sources, can you at least share why you think this got leaked, and what the agenda was behind this leak? Also, do you intend to ask Newsom's office to comment on this story? As someone who lives in SF, I cannot discern any serious threat of violence like there must have been during the days and hours leading up to the White Night Riots. Anger, yes. But, rioting? Seems far fetched to me.

    Posted by: Tony N SF | May 20, 2009 5:04:00 PM

  8. Hmmmm...I wonder if the fact that tomorrow is Gavin's big fundraiser at the Palace Hotel had anything to do with his request. Get it OVER already!

    Posted by: NV Bunni | May 20, 2009 5:12:07 PM

  9. I echo the sentiments of civil disobedience.

    No minority got civil rights handed to them on a platter, regardless how much begging and pleading and negotiating and compromising. No matter how justified their cause or clear their entitlement.

    Every moment in history when oppression was confronted, it has only succeeded at its boiling point.

    Posted by: Wes | May 20, 2009 5:15:22 PM

  10. Like RYAN, I'm not altogether certain that a bit of destruction would be a bad thing. These issues need to stay at the forefront of public and political thought, and barely-controlled street demonstrations scare the politicians.

    TBQH, I have the feeling that the rails in the Castro may have as much to do with American Idol as with Prop 8. I have a feeling that Adam is going to lose, and I think it's going to piss a lot of people off. If that happened, and was followed a day later by a negative ruling on Prop 8, SF might end up looking like a war zone for a week.

    Posted by: Aaron Akins | May 20, 2009 5:17:55 PM

  11. Who knows? The court cannot tip its hand about the results. If they told Gavin that they will still release it on Thursday because “it will be ok”… that would be tipping their hand. And remember that even if they to the right thing and overturn prop8 there will still be parties from the good guys (the gay folks) and protest form the bad guys (the religious morons).
    So I don’t think this should push anyone’s guess in either direction. Me personally, I just want to get it over with!

    Posted by: John | May 20, 2009 5:18:22 PM

  12. White Night WAS one of our proudest moments, just like Stonewall was. It was a night when we made it clear that gays are a force to be reckoned with and that we're no longer willing to be treated like second-class citizens.

    It sent a message. Maybe we need to send the message again. People have gotten complacent in thirty years. Harvey would be ashamed of all of us.

    Posted by: Adam G | May 20, 2009 5:19:03 PM

  13. LOL! Like the Gav has any sway by just making a call to the Supremes. "Hello, Supremes? You might not want to release the opinion tomorrow..." LOL!! As if!

    Posted by: Natalie | May 20, 2009 5:19:44 PM

  14. I totally agree with David Ehrenstein that the White Night Riots were one of our proudest moments. I've been saying all along that if the Supreme Court upholds discrimination against our community we should all get in the streets and generally FUCK SHIT UP (not in our neighborhoods, of course)!!!!!!!

    Posted by: peterparker | May 20, 2009 5:21:38 PM

  15. Assuming this story is true -- and I'm skeptical, but it's not totally implausible -- that wouldn't mean that Newsom has any advance notice of the result. Pretty much everyone understands that it would be a surprise if the Court rules our way. Not impossible by any means, so I'm not suggesting not to be hopeful, but the odds are not in our favor.

    Posted by: Glenn | May 20, 2009 5:27:37 PM

  16. Protest. Raise hell. Our entire country has become complacent. You want example #1? Look at how we are being bent over by handouts to the banks and financial companies and yet nobody does anything. The only language these people speak is money. Numbers. If you cannot make your freedom cost something to them, they will not give it to you. I think Newsom knows something and does not want riots. If this ruling lets prop 8 stand, riot. Show the world how wrong this injustice is. The ruling class will not listen to you until you make them listen to you.

    Posted by: | May 20, 2009 5:28:24 PM

  17. seriously, there MUST be protest-- the country is so hypocritical. the fact that rights like this, and every single other right to happiness here, is up for vote in this "land of the free" is ridiculous, and we have to make noise. no one else will do it for us. refrain from violence, but as MLK Jr and Ghandi knew, there is such a thing as effective nonviolent resistance!

    Posted by: x-guy | May 20, 2009 5:28:59 PM

  18. Gays in 1970s San Francisco were considered pathetic "misfits" and "deviants."

    Gays in 2000s San Francisco are businessmen, PTA members, and politicians.

    There will be no violence. Riots only occur when people have nothing to lose. These people have way too much to lose.

    Posted by: John | May 20, 2009 5:29:40 PM

  19. I have a feeling they won't be able to keep the lid on this thing whatever day the decision is handed down from on high.

    It's looking like they'll uphold Prop 8. Ok, then.

    Here's what we learned in Ireland: You get as much freedom as you take.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | May 20, 2009 5:32:18 PM

  20. Franko -- it doesn't surprise me that Newsom's office is denying it. Why would they admit to it?

    I stand by source who gave this to Towleroad.



    Posted by: Corey Johnson | May 20, 2009 5:39:52 PM

  21. Regardless of whether this ruling falls on the anniversary of White Night riots, in the future the Day of decision will be the Anniversary of H8 Night riots.

    Posted by: Qbear | May 20, 2009 5:43:01 PM

  22. "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.'"

    I'm quite sorry you feel that way, Leland. I personally disagree with you. If you knew just how much heart and soul these activists put out there, because we're trying to deter THAT from happening, you'd be proud of them/us. To the queers/queens/debutants that decide to watch from atop their bar stools while having cocktails, while everyone else is busting their tailends with voter canvassing, phone banking, marching, rallying, etc etc...stay there darlings, we will need SOMEONE to keep the stools warm when your kicked off of them afterwards. Just sayin...

    Posted by: Tom Crowe | May 20, 2009 5:45:47 PM

  23. @WAS THERE

    White Night Riot was a proud moment. When they spit on someone they had already murdered...the damage should have been MASSIVE.

    Posted by: Qbear | May 20, 2009 5:46:09 PM

  24. 1st this was not "exclusive" another site had it looong before you, and they say It was not Gavin that called for the hold off, it was the court that decided out of respect for the date not to do it. BUT the real question is, if they changed the date, then is it going to be bad news?????

    Posted by: rusty | May 20, 2009 5:46:24 PM

  25. Newsom doesn't know. He's a party to the suit -- it would be illegal for him to find out about the decision before it was handed down to everyone.

    Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2009 5:53:12 PM

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