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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. Im FAR beyond pissed off.Its gotten to the point where Im literally having dreams about setting churches on fire,clubbin the bigots to the ground,throwing dog shit in the bigots faces,and even sneaking from behind and slittin' a bigot's throat open.I know what Im suffering from.

    Pent up rage due to being treated like a THIRD class citizen.Its haunting me when I sleep.Some people suffer dreams like that when stressed out.

    This is indeed a stressful time for ALL of us.

    Posted by: PISSED OFF gay Automotive Enthusiast | May 20, 2009 10:40:57 PM

  2. @Chris: Are you a lawyer? Because your post is completely inaccurate.

    (1) It is not illegal (ie, prohibited by law and subject to criminal penalties) to contact the Court ex parte. And while it is improper to communicate on the substance of the case, it is permitted in various circumstances (incl. scheduling and administrative issues). Newsom's communication (if it happened) was not on the substance of the case and appears to have been purely informatory (ie, tomorrow would be a bad day given the fact of the anniversary).

    (2) Further, ex parte communications are permitted with the consent of, or notice to, other parties. We do not know the circumstances of Newsom's communication (if any).

    (3) The court is neither "legally required" to disregard such a communication (although that is typically how it would be handled) nor obligated to hold such a party in contempt.

    Posted by: pistolpetey | May 20, 2009 10:53:05 PM

  3. Corey--methinks you were PLAYED.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | May 20, 2009 11:38:26 PM

  4. This whole discussion thread is being played.

    We're not in 1978 anymore, this is Post 9/11 Divided States of America, where the scars of violence are fresh and the fear of terrorism still runs high.

    While I support our right to protest, the imagery and language of GAY CIVIL VIOLENCE is just what our opposition needs to link TERRORISM and VIOLENCE to our fundamentally noble cause. Why hand them the ammunition that would surely backfire and hurt ourselves.

    Posted by: Jason87 | May 21, 2009 12:53:13 AM

  5. This is a silly story - the mayor is firmly in support of marriage equality - the court rules when the court rules. I respect and admire the mayor, but he has absolutely no influence on the courts schedule - this probably came from the same source that claimed the court was going to rule today... yeah, right!

    Posted by: Mike | May 21, 2009 1:34:18 AM

  6. white night opened a lot of straight people's eyes. we weren't just a bunch of limp-wristed fairies .. we were pissed off gay MEN who could flip a cop car. oh and btw, i speak from direct experience.. i was there and .. gasp ! .. i'm still alive.

    Posted by: el polacko | May 21, 2009 2:51:05 AM

  7. You get what you take, not what you demurely request while holding a Kumbaya sing-along and goddess circle.

    Posted by: Tom K. | May 21, 2009 3:15:09 AM

  8. NB: When our Supreme Judicial Court here in MA declared Same-Sex Marriage in 2004, their decision came on the 50th Anniversary of the Brown v Board of Education (a landmark in Civil Rights legislation) as I and several friends talked about the CA Supreme Court handing down its' decision on the Anniversary of the "White Nights Riots" and ONE day before the birthday of Harvey Milk - we saw that as a positive sign that the Courts saw this as a monumental Civil Rights issue and by choosing to declare its' decision on this day would etch it into the History books forever and join it to a time and place of historic meaning to the GLBTT communities of CA. I am disappointed that for whatever reason and by some invisible hand that this did not occur as planned!!!! be strong remain diligent and we shall also overcome this period of uncertainty!

    Posted by: alex in boston | May 21, 2009 6:06:15 AM

  9. We are an ex-mormon group looking for supporters against prop 8 and encouraging all gay exmormons to resign on 1st June 2009 for this years International Choose to Resign day.

    Posted by: Truth About LDS | May 21, 2009 6:32:54 AM

  10. As a gay 19 year old boy i see the White Night riots as gays showing that we can and will fight back and we wont be steriotypical fags that just prance around but we are human and we get angry just like everyone else. And they had better treat us the same or there will be problems, especiallly from my generation.

    Posted by: Shay | May 21, 2009 8:36:53 AM

  11. Wow - at first I was excited awaiting the court's verdict. Then a bit flat since maybe it won't be so good. (And I'm not even in california!)

    But then I read all the awesome kick-ass comments about taking action, hitting the streets, continuing the fight for queer rights (and not just as 'nice corporate gays and lesbians'!). Civil rights or civil war - yes!!

    Who would've thought a blog page could breathe such passion, energy, life into it all - thanks to all posters here...

    Can't wait for the action(s)...

    Posted by: hareton | May 21, 2009 9:11:25 AM

  12. I disagree. White Nights were a necessary and beneficial time in history. After that point, we finally got the respect we deserved in SF and our community then became entrenched in its political machine.

    By Any Means Necessary!- Malcolm X

    Posted by: Wren | May 21, 2009 9:44:37 AM

  13. I was 8 years old when the White Night riot occurred, but I still claim it as a proud moment for my tribe. It's a proud moment just like the queens at Stonewall and the throngs of people all over the country who took to the streets and petitioned their government after the prop 8 bullshit.

    Civil rights are never given freely. They are TAKEN by force, and always have been.

    I'm a peaceful man. But you know what?

    It's time to open up a can of whoop-ass.

    Posted by: The Milkman | May 21, 2009 10:53:21 AM

  14. found this information re New Hampshire at that link

    The legislature had been asked to approve language that would give legal protections, including the right to decline to marry same-sex couples, to clergy and others affiliated with religious organizations.
    That wording was added by Governor John Lynch, a Democrat who promised to sign the bill if those changes were made.
    The House vote against the governor's amendment means the bill will be sent to a committee that will try to resolve the differences between the two chambers. It remains unclear how the governor would respond to any changes to his wording.
    Lynch has said he would veto gay marriage if his wording is not adopted.
    State Representative Steve Vaillancourt, a gay Republican from Manchester, was a leading voice against the amendment securing religious liberties, saying that the House should not be "bullied" by the governor.
    Vaillancourt said an earlier bill that did not provide protections to clerics or religious groups was the one that should have been passed, adding that the amended bill would allow discrimination to be written into state law.
    The earlier bill passed both chambers.

    Posted by: Ed | May 21, 2009 11:38:54 AM

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