Some Fatherly Advice

Since I’m the oldest guy posting here and (I think) the only dad, I wanted to alert our readers to an outstanding post over at Orange Juice by Claudio.  San  Diego’s Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders has a daughter that he loves unconditionally.  His daughter is a lesbian and through what must be countless hours of conversion and soul searching, Mayor Sanders has changed his position on same-sex marriage.

Anyone who ever saw “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” could see the angst in Spencer Tracy’s performance as he struggled to come to terms with his character’s daughter’s pending interracial marriage to Sidney Poitier.  At the end of the movie, he not only came to terms with it, but lent his heart and soul to it because it meant his daughter’s happiness.  He pledged to help the groom’s father come to terms with it as well. 

Jon Fleischman posted this on Red County/San Diego:

The issue of same-sex marriage, and how it is dealt with as a public-policy issue, has been around for a very, very long time.  For Sanders to talk about an “evolution” of his position since he was elected strains credibility.

It is actually much more believable that he adopted a position to appeal to base values-voters and Republicans in his first election, and now that he is running as an incumbent (and has already been endorsed for re-election by the GOP), he feels that he can just change his positions on key issues.

I think that this kind of political shell game will come back to bite the Mayor big-time.  I just got a press release from Republican businessman Steve Francis, announcing that he has formed an exploratory committee to challenge Sanders.

Perhaps we now should look to the San Diego County GOP, and what they may do in light of Sanders’ “evolution” on such a key issue of our day.  Maybe its time for the GOP to “evolve” their position on the Mayoral race…

How disappointing…

And on Jon’s site, under the listing of 20 bills the Governor should veto is this ditty by Jon, Rep. Chuck DeVore, and State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth on AB43, Rep. Mark Leno’s Gay Marriage Bill:

The final one is AB 43 by Assemblyman Leno (D-San Francisco), the annual attempt at legalizing same-sex marriage in California.  Vetoed last year, this overturning of traditional marriage could lead to all sorts of consequences down the road, such as polygamy in the name of religious freedom, or parents marrying their children to avoid death taxes (Why not?  Once two millennia of proven tradition goes out the window, anything goes…).  The Governor has announced that he will veto this bill.

As Matt Cunningham might say, this notion of parents marrying children to avoid paying a death tax is a straw man.  There is no advocacy or lobbying group pushing for this sort of marriage or change in marital law.  Incest is still against the law in America.  Marriage to a minor child without parental consent is also illegal and in many societies is considered children sexual abuse.  Chuck is usually so thorough with research and documentation to support his position, but there isn’t a record of this being a problem in countries where gay marriage is legal or in Massachusetts where gay marriage is legal.  At best, its another case of Republicans trying to scare the population into fearing gay marriage.  At worst, its discrimination (sorry, I’m not playing the bigotry card). This from the party that touts itself as the part of personal freedom (unless you’re gay).

I think Mayor Sanders should take Jon at his word and tell him where to stick the GOP endorsement.  How anyone can seriously take the GOP as the party of family values if it asked candidates to choose between the party and a family member. 

Claudio went a step further in his post and wished gay children on this GOP critics.  I don’t think this would help when you look at how conservative leaders like Alan Keyes, Phyllis Schafly, and Randall Terry have treated their own gay children hasn’t been enlighting to conservatives. Still, its groundbreaking that a conservative city like San Diego is deadlocked on the issue of Gay marriage and it must scare conservatives half to death.

From the San Jose Mercury News profile of Jon Fleischman during the state budget impasse, it was revealed Jon is about to become the father of a son.  I wish him and his wife a healthy child, a quick labor and all the joys that parenthood brings.  And one of those joys that comes with being a parent is unconditional love that exists between a parent and child.  You discover quite quickly that anyone who gives you an ultimatum that means choose us or your child, that the choice is for the child everytime.  

Children need their parents’ love and suport.  Gay children need love, support and understanding.  Having a gay child is not like having a child with a disease or disorder or a condition.  It’s more like having a child with blue eeys or black hair.  One who is tall or short.  Being gay is not a choice and its not an affliction.     And it certainly doesn’t mean they are less deserving of love or less capable of giving it. 

Suggesting that the Party evolve their position or revoke their endorsement because Sanders has changed his position on what should be a private matter between two non-related consenting adults seems to fly in the face of the limited government instrusion position Republicans claim as a foundation of their party.  And its mean-spirited and wrong.


  32 comments for “Some Fatherly Advice

  1. September 24, 2007 at 12:44 pm


    Loving one’s child does not also mean that you would support overturning traditional marriage just so society could sanction their relationship. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Anything else may be a relationship, even a loving one, but it is not marriage.

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    September 24, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Honestly, you might be acquainted with gays and lesbians, but you don’t really know any, do you?

    Today, married couples enjoyed significantly more rights than couples in a domestic partnership. I would say loving one’s gay or lesbian child would open your heart to have your head reconsider that these people are denied the same rights you and I enjoy.

    Until you can wrap your arms around it, that the Republicans represent liberty and freedom are hollow.

    I’m still waiting for any meanfingful data that gay marriage means there will be an onslaught of parents marrying their children. Or that gay marriage will damage your marriage for that matter.

  3. Truthteller
    September 24, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    So tell me – Who died and left Chuck to be the definer of “marriage”?

  4. Jason Bensley
    September 24, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    If a marriage license is given to a couple by a civic authority such as a county, then why should religious beliefs define who can or cannot be granted a marriage license? Isn’t it up to the county/state/nation to define what marriage is?

  5. September 24, 2007 at 8:13 pm


    Actually, in this country marriage is between one man and one woman, then he dumps her and marries another one, then he dumps her…oh heck, just ask Newt Gingrich. How many times has he been married? To how many of his former secretaries?

    The truth is that DIVORCE is the marriage killer, not gays who love each other. And studies show that evangelicals have higher divorce rates than the rest of us. God only knows what the GOP divorce rate is…

  6. September 24, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    The weird thing is that the father of Conservativism Barry Goldwater openly supported gays in the Military, and although he was personally opposed to it he did not see any point in standing in the way of a womans right to chose.

    When his own daughter wrote to him explaing her desision to have an abortion, he wrote back stating that although he wished she would change her mind, he pledged his full support of her own decision.

    Ronald Reagn was one of Barry Goldwaters most staunch supporters. Ronald Reagan modeled his philiosophy off of Barry Goldwater. Almost every Republican in office or runnig for office today nearly gives themselves a hernia trying to convince people that thay are the reincarnated carcass of Ronald Reagan himself in order to gain votes.
    So Chuck, my question to you is, How Reagn-like are you?

    All the best,

    Paul Lucas

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    September 24, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Quick quiz; what state has the lowest rate of divorce? Massachusetts, the only one that permits gay marriage.

  8. September 24, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    By the way, didn’t Chucky support OC Sheriff Mike Carona for reelection? Carona sure is a great example of marital fidelity isn’t he? How do you say “cheating pig” in Russian?

  9. Russian Pig
    September 24, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    To Art,
    Cheating is in Russian…..обман свиньи. lol

  10. james
    September 24, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Art, slam dunk at 8:13pm. I’ve heard this argument before, but you expressed it better. Divorce is the marriage killer. And the truth is that some marriages should end. Others should be allowed to be made. I’m confident that, eventually, the religious zealots’ de facto hold on public marriage licenses will end. With consistent pressure, over the long haul, equality before the law has been hard to resist.

  11. September 24, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    I get the biggest kick out of the comment from “Truthteller.” So, I want to stick to the way it’s been in Western civilization for over 2,000 years and you want to change the definition, so how is it again that I am great “definer of ‘marriage'”?

    As for the other comments, the failure of people to be perfect does in no way at all justify your attempt to change a definition. That’s akin to all of us being poor spellers then deciding to change the dictionary to include every misspelled combination of a word.

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District

  12. September 24, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    You totally blew me off dude! Now serioulsy, How Reagan-Like are you? Youre supposed to be this major Liberties type guy and yet you want to deny the right of two poeple to express their love and committment in a way that everyone else is able to? I believe that a “Marriage” can be defined by the expression and committment of two consenting adults to one another in a legal, covenent, recognizable by the State as a legal relationship worthy of all the rightsa and privelages of one man and one woman. And that includes the right of divorce. But as research shows, marriages between same sex couples are more successful by comparison than those between men and women. So tell me, how Reagan-like are you again?

    All the best,

    Paul Lucas

  13. September 24, 2007 at 11:02 pm


    Are you defending President George W. Bush’s right to say “nucular” instead of “nuclear?” I know you are fixated on nukes, but what the heck does that have to do with the GOP acting like Iranian fascist Ahmadinejad , who said tonight that there are “no gay people” in Iran?

    By the way, before the Romans embraced Christianity, the Greek culture embraced homosexuality and bisexuality – and many Romans did the same – and sometimes practiced everything at the same time. In fact the Emperor Nero was an even bigger pig than Carona. He is said to have committed horrible acts on the wives of his own soldiers! And he married his own step-sister!

    So it would appear that the definition of marriage has indeed evolved over the years. By the way, the Vikings would throw the still living widows onto the funeral pyres of the dead Viking kings. And the Egyptians had the widows mummified…even though they had to kill them first. Shall we return to those ancient values?

    Times change. People change. You Reeps need to understand that and stop reflexively regurgitating your myopic view of history.

    BTW, remember Soddom and Gomorrah? You Reeps love to bring that ancient tale up when talking about gays, but did you read the rest of the story? The sole survivor of the destroyed cities, Lot, had two daughters who, after the cataclysm, got him drunk, had their way with him, and thus procreated. Funny how you guys always leave THAT PART out. Talk about family values…

    Face it Chuck, you are all a bunch of hypocrites. Your views on gays are Talibanistic. Time to catch up with the rest of the world.

  14. Truthteller
    September 24, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    if you read that “bible” book of yours critically, you’ll see that there are numerous examples of men with multiple wives.
    the one man/one woman definition of marriage has only been in place for few hundred years.
    so much for “the way it’s been in Western civilization for over 2,000 years”

    and language, like legal systems, evolves. the english we use today would barely be recognizable to the elizabethans. does that make it incorrect to you, chuck?

    if you want to stick to the traditional ways, chuck, how about we bring back dowries and the laws prohibiting intermarriage by people of different ethnicities?

    how does an ignoramous like you get elected?

  15. September 24, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    I find many of the comments here downright odd.

    Bible history shows that the period of time when more than one wife was accepted was far before 2,000 years ago.

    As for Paul Lucas, there are two Barry Goldwaters, the traditional conservative one from the early years and the aged one who drifted all over the political map long after his prime. Reagan? He was not a supporter of same-sex marriage no matter how you’d like to spin it.

    As for “Truthteller” asking in an ad hominem sort of way (always a good way to win a debate, eh?) “how does an ignoramous like you get elected?” Perhaps you should ask yourself how it is the Democrats’ main candidates for President all tripped over themselves to explain that perhaps the nation isn’t ready for same-sex marriage yet? It seems you need to convince your own establishment first before you work on conservative Orange County. Or, perhaps you should run against me in the 70th using my “ignoramous” opposition to same-sex marriage as the basis for your campaign. As I am so “ignorant” I am sure it would be a cakewalk for you!

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District

  16. September 24, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    From a July 8, 2007 San Francisco Chronicle article:

    But even standing alongside San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and state Treasurer Phil Angelides, the Democratic candidate for governor, on the morning after New York’s highest court upheld a state ban on same-sex marriage, Clinton steadfastly ignored questions about the issue.

    It was a marked contrast from a visit to San Francisco on a 1996 book tour, when the then-first lady expressed her views without reservation.

    “Children are better off if they have a mother and a father,” Clinton said in the San Francisco interview with the then-Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner. “My preference is that we do all we can to strengthen traditional marriage … and that people engaged in parenting children be committed to one another.”

  17. Truthteller
    September 24, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Once again Chuck buries his head in the sand and refuses to believe that concepts of marriage evolve over time (much like spelling and language that he cited in his earlier comment).
    Were the early polygamous Mormons not a part of recent western civilization?
    What about the same-gender sacraments performed by the medieval Christian church? Guess those don’t count either.
    So you want to stick to the ancient traditions of Western civilization – how about enslaving others (about 1800 of your arbitrary 2000 years)? Let’s go back to treating women as property (1900 of 2000)!
    Last I checked none of the Democratic Presidential candidates have commented on this thread. When they weigh in, I’ll ask the appropriate questions.
    I find you downright odd, Chuck. How about opening your mind and listening to the arguments being made instead of choosing to respond (lamely) to just a handful to feel like you’re “winning”?

  18. September 24, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    See my LiveJournal entry “That Slippery Slope: Homosexuality Leads to Terrorism”
    and you’ll understand Chuck’s view a bit better.

  19. September 25, 2007 at 1:26 am

    Chuck, you said:
    So, I want to stick to the way it’s been in Western civilization for over 2,000 years and you want to change the definition, so how is it again that I am great “definer of ‘marriage’”?

    Well Chuck, not all of the “civilized world” agrees with your 2000 year historical timeline.

    Are civil unions a 600-year-old tradition?
    Sharing ‘1 bread, 1 wine, and 1 purse’: The history of brotherment

    A compelling new study from the September issue of the Journal of Modern History reviews historical evidence, including documents and gravesites, suggesting that homosexual civil unions may have existed six centuries ago in France.

    Commonly used rationales in support of gay marriage and gay civil unions avoid historical arguments. However, as Allan A. Tulchin (Shippensburg University) reveals in his article, a strong historical precedent exists for homosexual civil unions.

    Opponents of gay marriage in the United States today have tended to assume that nuclear families have always been the standard household form. However, as Tulchin writes, “Western family structures have been much more varied than many people today seem to realize, and Western legal systems have in the past made provisions for a variety of household structures.”

    For example, in late medieval France, the term affrèrement – roughly translated as brotherment – was used to refer to a certain type of legal contract, which also existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe. These documents provided the foundation for non-nuclear households of many types and shared many characteristics with marriage contracts, as legal writers at the time were well aware, according to Tulchin.

    The new “brothers” pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et une bourse’ – one bread, one wine, and one purse. As Tulchin notes, “The model for these household arrangements is that of two or more brothers who have inherited the family home on an equal basis from their parents and who will continue to live together, just as they did when they were children.” But at the same time, “the affrèrement was not only for brothers,” since many other people, including relatives and non-relatives, used it.

    The effects of entering into an affrèrement were profound. As Tulchin explains: “All of their goods usually became the joint property of both parties, and each commonly became the other’s legal heir. They also frequently testified that they entered into the contract because of their affection for one another. As with all contracts, affrèrements had to be sworn before a notary and required witnesses, commonly the friends of the affrèrés.”

    Tulchin argues that in cases where the affrèrés were single unrelated men, these contracts provide “considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships. . . . I suspect that some of these relationships were sexual, while others may not have been. It is impossible to prove either way and probably also somewhat irrelevant to understanding their way of thinking. They loved each other, and the community accepted that. What followed did not produce any documents.”

    He concludes: “The very existence of affrèrements shows that there was a radical shift in attitudes between the sixteenth century and the rise of modern antihomosexual legislation in the twentieth.”

  20. james
    September 25, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Chuck (11:19pm),

    Bible history is sectarian theology. It is not the collective history of humanity. Given the power, would you implement the Biblical narrative as the authoritative core of our World History classes? What’s the meaning of this remark? Don’t you judge the historical context of public policy issues on a more general history than your articles of faith?


  21. just asking
    September 25, 2007 at 9:37 am

    So by “Nuke DeVore’s” logic Mitt Romney whose religion until very recently allowed multiple wives, and Rudy Guliani who married his first cousin (outlawed in many states and countries) would be unfit for the Presidency. Gingrich who divoriced his wife while she was in bed stricken with cancer, and Methusula (i.e. Fred Thompson) who keeps marrying younger women would also be unfit because they don’t honor the “One man One woman” image Nuke believes in.

    By this logic Hillary Clinton seems the best choice. She stood by her husband for better or worse. Her commitment seems to be a model display of the sanctity of marriage that Nuke is striving for! Guess she deserves our votes!

  22. Dan Chmielewski
    September 25, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Chuck —
    Love how you throw in the Hillary Clinton stuff. Here’s some detail on two GOP candidates.

    When the interracial marriage ban was lifted by the courts, about 90 percent of the voters in California were opposed to mixed marriages. I still fail to see how gay marriage is a threat to families or heterosexual marriage.

    And you have yet to produce any credible data on a lobby for mother-son/father-daughter marriages you claim will happen if Gay marriage is allowed.

    I’m pro-choice. I’m pro-gay rights,” Giuliani said. He was then asked whether he supports a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortions. “No, I have not supported that, and I don’t see my position on that changing,” he responded.
    Source:, “Inside Politics” Dec 2, 1999

  23. Dan Chmielewski
    September 25, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    Please read the editorial about Sanders in today’s LA Times. Perhaps Dick Cheney could take a few cues from Sanders and Dick Gephardt.

  24. Dan Chmielewski
    September 25, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Gary —
    your blog post from July on this was brilliant. Keep it up.

  25. Robin Marcario
    September 25, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    It is educational to read the varied views on this site. I appreciate Assemblymember DeVore stating his opinions for the public to hear. There are few elected officials who take the time to write and make comments publicly. Although, I do not agree with him.
    I have been with my partner for over twenty-five years. We have two children and have built a stable, loving home together. We are committed and respect the rights and responsibilities couples exchange when choosing to spend our lives together.
    I am fortunate to receive medical insurance from my partner, as well as other rights if we were to separate due to signing a marriage contract because we are a heterosexual couple.
    Why shouldn’t same sex couples be given the same rights as heterosexual couples? The committment, love and responsibilities to your partner are the same therefore the rights and obligations of a marriage contract should be equally available.
    Robin Marcario

  26. Dan Chmielewski
    September 25, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Great questions Robin. I think most conservatives personally find homosexuality repugnant and immoral. For some reason, a gay or lesbian couple that is together for years is worse than someone like Netw Gingrich Rush Limbaugh or Larry King, married three,four and seven times each, respectively. Rudy Guiliani married his first cousin, a practice legal in California today.

  27. demmother
    September 25, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    I recall from my study of history, that ‘marriage’ was a business proposition. Love had nothing to do with ‘marriage’. They were business contracts that were designed to enrich the families of the couple and to extend holdings. Particularly land.

    The church came in and proceded to ‘sanctify’ the union or ‘marriage’. Somehow the business is getting mixed up with relegious ferver. Romantic love did not enter the picture until the 19th century.

    I say render unto Ceaser. ‘Marriage’ or ‘Civil Union’ should bestow the same legal rights. This is a Civil Rights issue. Either gay people have the same rights as heterosexuals or they do not. You either support Civil Rights for all or you don’t.

  28. September 25, 2007 at 10:08 pm


    You are correct, it used to be a business contract. In fact, marrying for love used to be considered a bad thing. One family might have land and the other might have money. That would be a good combination. The families considered what was best for the future children of the couple based on what the two families had available.

  29. September 25, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    You know, I read that Flash Report’s Jon Fleischman is really mad at Mayor Jerry Sanders because of his brave reversal re gay marriage. But isn’t Fleischman divorced? He just remarried, I think in the last year. Way to keep your marriage vows sacrosanct Flash!

  30. Anon
    September 26, 2007 at 9:15 am

    Who died and left Chuck to be the definer of “marriage”?

    Pete Knight.

  31. Dan Chmielewski
    September 26, 2007 at 9:45 am

    The irony is that Pete Knight had a gay son who married in SF; I;m glad that father and son were able to patch things up before he passed. But how sad is it that something like this would keep them apart for so long.

  32. September 26, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    I was reading over this thread while watching news coverage of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Little Rock Nine.
    The images of well-dressed white kids in their neat 50s fashions throwing rocks at “negroes” who were walking to school in order to defend their societal traditions remind me of Mr. DeVore.
    In 50 years when we look back at the battle on Gay Marriage and see Pete Knight and friends, I suspect we will see them the same way.

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