News Articles

FIRST PERSON: Time to discipline San Francisco’s mayor

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–President Bush has more than “activist judges” forcing their “arbitrary will upon the people” to worry about when it comes to defending the sanctity of marriage.

He now has an anarchist to deal with in San Francisco. The Bay City’s mayor decided Feb. 12 to circumvent legal channels in order to provide illegal same-sex “marriages” and provoke a constitutional crisis in both California and the remaining 49 states.

It was a black day across America. Gay activists in Wisconsin, South Carolina and other states applied for marriage licenses as part of their annual celebration of “National Freedom to Marry Day.” Legislators in Massachusetts could not agree that it was morally imperative to protect the sanctity of marriage.

While some legislators spoke of equal rights and others spoke of tradition, the blatant act of defiance was taking place on the “left coast.”

After the marriage licenses were issued and the “weddings” performed, Randy Thomasson, executive director of the Campaign for California Families, told the Associated Press that the “certificates are not worth the paper they are printed on. The renegade mayor of San Francisco has no authority to do this.”

Legally, Thomasson is correct. Lawmaking is reserved for duly elected representatives of the people in the California statehouse. The interpretation of that law is reserved for the courts. But San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, from a wealthy and politically elite family, apparently believes both jobs are his.

In a letter to San Francisco County Clerk Nancy Alfaro Feb. 10, Newsom wrote that the laws of the city which prohibited the distribution of marriage licenses to same-sex couples violate his beliefs about California’s equal protection clauses.

“Pursuant to my sworn duty to uphold the California Constitution, including specifically its equal protection clause, I request that you determine what changes should be made to the forms and documents used to apply for and issue marriage licenses in order to provide marriage licenses on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to gender or sexual orientation,” Newsom wrote.

Isn’t it ironic that the mayor chose to violate the California constitution in order to uphold it? And it doesn’t take a legal scholar to understand how Newsom did so. All one has to do is read the California constitution.

Article IV of California constitution describes the duty of the legislative branch to make and publish law with the consent of the people. In 2000, voters in California approved a ballot measure (Proposition 22) that codified only heterosexual marriage. That means that the definition of marriage became law in the state.

Article VI of the constitution describes the structure of the courts of California. Nothing is said about the mayor of San Francisco’s position in interpreting the law. Article XI of the constitution makes local governments subordinate to that of the state.

Newsom must comply with the statutes of the state of California and even his own city and county charter, which does not say that he can change city procedures without the approval of his city council. If he does not comply, he should suffer the consequences at the hands of the courts. After all, Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore was removed from the bench for defying his state’s laws.

If California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger complies with his oath and fulfills his duty as specified in his state’s constitution, then he will have to discipline the mayor; perhaps he should call for his indictment for violating the law. Schwarzenegger is responsible for seeing that “the law is faithfully executed.”

Newsom has violated a number of democratic principles in his grievous ploy to win the favor of San Francisco’s large homosexual lobby. His actions, however, are indicative of a much greater spiritual problem.

As in the days of the biblical Judges where “every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” our nation is descending into anarchy. Scripture is clear that nations that ignore the Word of God, law and the moral standards He has set do not survive.

I often wonder how long the Lord will tarry. I wonder if his judgment is drawing near for our nation, which seems to be now accustomed to calling good “evil” and evil “good.” I am nonetheless hopeful that Mayor Newsom and his supporters in this effort to declare same-sex “marriage” moral will someday heed the warning of Christ in Revelation 22:12, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”
Gregory Tomlin is director of communications at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

    About the Author

  • Gregory Tomlin