Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I came so close to making the wrong decision, and to endorsing government-sanctioned discrimination. As it turns out, I was reelected to a second term the next year. My position on marriage equality definitely made it more difficult. But I know I would have regretted vetoing that resolution a lot more than losing that election.
Now, more than two years later, I have testified in federal court about my decision and the rationale behind it. I told the court that, as someone who has spent most of his lifetime in public service, I understand that when government tolerates discrimination against any class of people, it makes it easier for citizens to do the same thing.
I was proud that Lisa was in court with me, along with her wife, Meaghan, whom she married in Vermont last month. Meaghan is like another daughter to me, and she has brought great happiness into our family.
The defendants in this case -- those who would deny equal rights to others -- would like us to believe that they are the true victims of discrimination. They argue that their opposition to marriage equality has made them targets of violence. They've made this argument as their excuse for withholding documents from the public, and it is as self-serving as it is inaccurate.
From my own experience as a police officer and mayor, I can say that the overwhelming evidence is that violence is directed against gays and lesbians, not those who would deny them equality.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders talking about testifying in the Prop H8 case