DNC doesn't mention same-sex marriage

August 27, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
During the first three days of the convention, we've heard democrats talk about the economy, Iraq, even alternative energy. However, you haven't heard word one about a topic that got lots of attention during the last presidential election -- gay marriage and most party leaders hope it stays that way.

Four years ago at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom told ABC7 he was "radioactive." John Kerry didn't want to be in the same room with him because Newsom had ordered his city clerk to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

Four years later, a lot has changed. The war and the economy has pushed the politics of same-sex marriage into the background.

"A lot has happened in the last four years to make Gavin's position more establishment," says ABC7's political analyst Bruce Cain.

He says the biggest difference is the State Supreme Court's decision.

"Which basically said the current law that made a distinction between gay marriage and partnerships was not constitutional. That gave a some legitimacy to Gavin Newsom's positions," says Cain.

In Denver this week Newsom was honored as one of Time Magazines red hot democrats to watch. Four years ago time picked Obama for that distinction.

Still, at the convention no one wants to talk about gay marriage and Newsom is still not on the schedule.

"Same thing, nothing has changed four years later, which is remarkable," says Newsom.

Barack Obama does not support gay marriage and Newsom admits he's still strongly identified with that issue and he understands the politics.

" I recognize the politics of it as much or more than any human being in the United States of American because I've experienced both the good and the bad, so I understand why he wants to avoid it four years later," says Newsom.

In fact some blame Newsom for pushing the issue for years ago and helping to mobilize conservatives for George W. Bush.

"So when you get a mayor to come up and say, 'It's time for marriage equality,' you know that's played on Fox News over and over again, it's completely exploited by the O'Reilly Factor and everyone saying, 'A typical party, out of touch with main stream America,'" says Newsom.

Regardless, he adds it is a bit frustrating.

"Maybe four years from now if I'm still in office somewhere, you know maybe then, 'Hey, oh yeah, we remember you, 12 years, it's okay now. Yeah give a little speech, it'll be at 3:45 in the morning, don't worry, there's a lot of people on C-span.com that are watching it and you can say a few words, but we'll have to check it.' Such is the nature of change," says Newsom.

Well you can't say he's lost his sense of humor.


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