Newsom not concerned over rulings in New York, Georgia against same-sex marriage

With a state appeals court in San Francisco scheduled to hear oral arguments Monday about the legality of same-sex marriage in California, Mayor Gavin Newsom said he was not worried about high-court rulings against gay marriage in New York and Georgia this week.

“I think we should avoid reading to much into this,” Newsom said. “California is a different state with a different constitution.”

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 say marriage should be reserved for unions between opposite-sex couples.

Newsom called the rulings mere “setbacks,” in an effort that would eventually result in gay marriages becoming legal.

“You can’t be naïve to the realities of the social justice movement, where history has yet to be written,” Newsom said. “This is going to be a long, multidecade struggle.”

Although gay rights advocates celebrated a California Superior Court ruling in March that said excluding gay couples from marriage is akin to gender discrimination, the ruling was appealed by the state attorney general, along with several conservative groups.

Newsom said he expects that the controversial case will eventually make its way to the California Supreme Court, after the appellate court's decision, because neither side will give up the fight.

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