Threats of violence muted as gay nupitals begin

When Mayor Gavin Newsom married same-sex couples four years ago, he told reporters he received more than 1,000 death threats from throughout the country.

On Tuesday, after the first day of legal same-sex marriages ended, the Mayor’s Office said it was prepared with “the appropriate amount of security for the situation.

“We’ve been through this before,” mayoral spokesman Nathan Ballard said.

The second wave of same-sex marriages has been a relatively peaceful one, however, at least in San Francisco. Representatives from The City’s police, fire and sheriff’s departments all said there were no reports of hate crimes, vandalism, bomb threats or other related calls.

For Willard Rouse and Cameron Thurston, whose Tennessee home is now a pile of ashes, that’s a reason to never leave San Francisco.

The couple traveled to San Francisco three weeks ago and were married Tuesday. It was something they said they didn’t mind sharing with their friends in Tullahoma, Tenn., and it was an event worth posting on the Internet.

Seemingly, not everyone was happy with couples’ choices.

Rouse, 38, got a call from Tennesse this week and learned their home had been burnt to the ground. A derogatory remark was scrawled on their mailbox, and now police investigators are looking into it as a hate crime.

“We don’t ever want to go back,” Rouse said. “We don’t really have anything to go back to.”

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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