Angelides promises to sign gay marriage bill if elected

Gubernatorial candidate in S.F. Thursday for fundraising breakfast

In San Francisco for a fundraising breakfast, Phil Angelides, the Democratic candidate for governor, said he would sign a bill legalizing same-sex marriages if he were to win in November.

Angelides made the statement at a post-breakfast press conference at the St. Regis Hotel, at which he was flanked by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Assemblyman Mark Leno, former primary opponent Steve Westly, and Mayor Gavin Newsom — who all pledged support for the gubernatorial candidate.

“I would sign the marriage equality bill because I believe if we can get behind people to build a lasting relationship that's a good thing,” said Angelides.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the marriage equality bill, passed last year by the California Legislature.

Newsom, who gave orders two years ago that allowed the weddings of 4,000 same-sex couples, who later had their marriage licenses later revoked by a court ruling, called Angelides' promise to sign the gay marriage bill “remarkable.”

On Monday, a state appeals court in San Francisco is scheduled to hear oral arguments over the legality of same sex marriage in California. It is expected that the controversial case will eventually make its way to the California Supreme Court.

This week in New York, the state's Court of Appeals upheld a state law that bans same-sex marriage and Georgia's Supreme Court said a 2004 ballot referendum banning gay marriage was legal. The decisions were applauded by a variety of groups that believe marriage should be reserved for unions between opposite sex couples.

Angelides was a man who could be counted on to keep his promises, said Newsom, adding that he didn't similarly trust Schwarzenegger.

“He's the ultimate politician,” said Newsom.

Schwarzenegger was found to be ahead of Angelides in voter approval, 44 percent to 37 percent, according to a recent statewide poll conducted by the nonpartisan Survey and Policy research Institute at San Jose State.

Clinton, who saidshe was “enthusiastically supportive” of Angelides, said she believed more Californians would also give him a vote of approval, once they got to know him.

beslinger@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

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