SF mayor fights for same-sex marriage

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom spent part of the morning in the Mission neighborhood, encouraging the mostly Latino shop owners to oppose the proposed ban on same-sex marriage.

The mayor is continuing his high profile push, even though some have suggested he lay low until after the election because his involvement has become ammunition for the other side.

The 'yes on Proposition 8' campaign says their poll numbers shot up statewide after a video shot by the San Francisco Chronicle showed the mayor officiating at the wedding of a lesbian teacher.

Her first graders skipped class to congratulate her on the steps outside City Hall.

On Wednesday morning on KGO radio, host Ronn Owens harshly criticized the mayor.

"What you did was stupid," said Owens.

"What do you mean? I married two people that is stupid?" said Newsom.

"Yes, I'd go out of the way not to marry people until the thing goes down in defeat," said Owens.

I think that's insulting," said Newsom.

Democratic strategist Chris Lehane has worked inside many campaigns. He believes Newsom is a huge asset to the 'no on Proposition 8' campaign.

"If he wasn't out there publicly on this, people would ask where is he, and I happen to think he's one of the best, most effective spokespeople on this issue," said Lehane.

But Republican strategist and advertising executive Bob Gardner believes Newsom is playing right into the hands of those against same-sex marriage.

He points to the very first yes on Proposition 8 ad, which he calls devastatingly effective.

"It's going to happen whether you like it or not," said Newsom on a Yes on Prop. 8 ad.

"I think by using him and he really comes across as arrogant and not representative of everyone in California, I think they've really closed the gap in that race," said Gardner.

Newsom is considering a run for governor. Republican Gardner believes there could be fallout.

"If Proposition 8 passes, Newsom will get a lot of the blame, because he's been front and center in these ads, and that could have an effect on his future political career," said Gardner.

Democrat Lehane sees it differently.

"He is branded as a courageous political leader and i think that helps him no matter what he might want to do down the road politically," said Lehane.

Newsom says he's not concerned with the political fallout. He'll open his own home tonight for the campaign.

"I look forward to raising money for Proposition 8," said Newsom.

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