TV & Radio
Clinton silent on same-sex marriage
Possible presidential aspirant refuses to touch hot topic
- Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer
Saturday, July 8, 2006
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton -- widely considered a 2008 Democratic presidential favorite -- was surrounded in San Francisco on Friday by Democrats outspoken on the issue of same-sex marriage: a mayor who issued a landmark city decision to declare same-sex unions legal, a state assemblyman at the forefront of same-sex marriage legislation, and the party's pro-gay marriage candidate for governor.
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.''
But Clinton refused to revisit the topic Friday morning at a meeting with reporters after a $1,000-a-person fundraiser for Angelides' campaign. But her views now appear surprisingly similar to those in a majority ruling from New York's highest court; the decision's author, Judge Robert Smith, suggested children are better raised in so-called traditional families.
Clinton's silence in the Democratic bastion of San Francisco highlighted how the issue of same-sex marriage still presents a political dilemma for Democrats.
While polls show many in the party, as well as many independent and moderate voters, support the concept of same-sex marriage, California voters in 2000 approved Proposition 22, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Polls nationally show a majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage -- but also support civil partnership rights.
"Not unlike many aspirants of national office of both parties, Sen. Clinton has not endorsed the concept of equal marriage rights for all citizens,'' said Leno, who has authored a score of marriage equality bills in the Legislature, one of which was passed last year and vetoed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who cited state voters' views on the matter.
While Massachusetts' high court in 2003 cleared the way for same-sex marriage in that state, Georgia's top court also Thursday reinstated Georgia's same-sex marriage ban. Forty-five states bar same-sex marriage by law or constitutional amendment. And voters in 14 states have since 2004 approved ballot measures banning same-sex marriage.
Democratic U.S. Sens. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts have been outspoken in support of same-sex marriage, Leno said, but "there are unfortunately few national leaders who wish to address the subject and even fewer who wish to embrace it as the civil rights issue that it is.
"I believe that those of us who support marriage equality and the issue itself suffer due to the lack of leadership,'' he said. "We'd be making greater progress if we had some folks speaking up.''
Angelides did that on Friday, saying that the state and its families would be better served with legal same-sex marriage.
Asked if Clinton's views were closer to Schwarzenegger's than his, Angelides said he couldn't speak for the New York senator.
But, he added, "I consider one of the great blessings in my life that I grew up in a wonderful, stable, loving family. I believe every Californian, every American ... ought to have the right to grow up in a loving family. And I would sign the marriage equality bill, because I believe that if we get behind people ... being in loving relationships, that's a good thing for this society. And I'd sign the gay marriage bill because I'd hope that every child would have the opportunity to grow up in a loving family.''
Newsom said the issue of same-sex marriage is one reason for Democrats to strongly support Angelides' campaign.
"Frankly, if we have a governor that is willing to do the right thing, and to follow the Legislature's lead ... we won't have a debate in the courts, and we will advance the issue of equality in an appropriate manner,'' Newsom said.
Still, Leno said he doesn't expect the issue of same-sex marriage to become fodder for the 2006 gubernatorial election.
"I would doubt greatly that it is an issue raised by the Schwarzenegger team because it would only do them harm,'' Leno said. "They know they can't win with only Republican voters. They need independents and Democrats, and a strong majority of those both support marriage equality.''
Leno pledged to introduce a marriage equality bill on the first day of the new legislative session, Dec. 4 -- less than a month after the November election.
"We are very confident that we will get it to the governor's desk in 2007, yet again,'' he said. "I'm supporting the candidate who says he'll sign it.''
E-mail Carla Marinucci at email@example.com.
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Posted on Fri, Jul. 07, 2006
Angelides says he would sign gay marriage bill
SAN FRANCISCO - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides said Friday that if he unseats Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in November he would sign a bill legalizing gay marriage in California.
Angelides talked about the issue the day after New York's high court upheld that state's one-man, one-woman marriage laws and as a California appeals court prepared to consider whether a trial judge erred in declaring the state's marriage laws unconstitutional.
"I would sign the marriage equality bill because I believe if we can get behind people to build a lasting relationship, that is a good thing," Angelides said at a news conference where Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., urged voters to support him.
The California Legislature last year became the first lawmaking body in the nation to legalize gay marriage. Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, saying it was up to voters or the courts, not lawmakers, to settle the matter.
The measure's sponsor, Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, plans to reintroduce it in December after the election.
Clinton, who does not support gay marriage, refused to answer questions about Thursday's court ruling in her home state, but made a brief pitch on Angelides' behalf.
She said she had known Angelides since his days as head of the California Democratic Party in the early 1990s, when her husband, former President Clinton, was running against President George Herbert Walker Bush. That race, she said, mirrors the one Angelides is in now.
"He brought passion and commitment to a campaign that was on an uphill side," Clinton said of the 1992 race, adding that in taking on Schwarzenegger, Angelides "was unafraid when it looked like a hopeless cause because he believed California could do better."
Appearing with Angelides on Friday were other state Democrats: U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Angelides' primary opponent, Controller Steve Westly. Westly dismissed suggestions that he reluctantly supported Angelides after their bruising primary, which Angelides won 48 percent to Westly's 43 percent.
"California wants a change in Sacramento," he said. "We want a Democratic governor and we will have a Democratic governor come November 2006."
また、同13日より17日までスパイラルホール（港区南青山5）で行われるメーン・プログラムには、トランス・セクシャルのマリエッタが繰り広げるスペインのミュージカル作品「20センチ！」（オープニング作品＝写真）をはじめ、舞台をきっかけに親密になる女性同士の物語「ガール・プレイ」などがラインナップされる。メーン・プログラム開催中はコンペティションとして公募作品の上映も行う（優勝者にはレインボーリール賞を授賞）。15日には、スパイラル地下の「EATS and MEETS Cay（イーツ・アンド・ミーツ カイ）」でオフィシャル・パーティーも開催。チケット（当日）は、1回券＝1,500円、フェスティバル・パス＝15,000円。
Lesbian, gay film festival marks 15th year
The Yomiuri Shimbun
The 15th Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, set to run July 7-8 and 13-17, will show 14 feature-length films and 21 shorts from around the world.
One feature is the Indian film Sancharam (The Journey), directed by Ligy J. Pullappally, which begins ominously with a young woman on the verge of a suicide leap from the top of a waterfall. Will she do it? What brought her to this point? The rest of the film is a flashback leading us once again to the waterfall nearly two hours later, for an ending that is both more and less ambiguous than the opening.
The woman on the ledge is Kiran (Suhasini V. Nair), daughter of a wealthy family with a long and locally distinguished history. Early on, her mother gives her a cherished heirloom bracelet: It dates back to a female ancestor who found happiness by eloping with a soldier. In the context of this festival, it's a safe bet that Kiran is going to fall in love with a woman rather than a man, thematically echoing her ancestor's forbidden romance. But a long-ago elopement is a tricky model. Even if they are remembered fondly by later generations, couples who love each other more than they love social conventions tend to be judged harshly in their own lifetimes.
The German feature Sommersturm (Summer Storm), by writer-director Marco Kreuzpaintner, starts out like an American Pie-style sex comedy about a young man named Tobi (Robert Stadlober) who has a secret crush on his rowing teammate Achim (Kostja Ullmann). Their rivals at a major tournament--the very out "Queerstrokes" and a happy-clappy Catholic girls' team--seem tailor-made for farcical complications. However, the film turns seriously emotional halfway through. Tobi's life is a shambles by the end, but at least he has some idea about how to get on with it, which puts him ahead of where he started.
Another unexpectedly serious film with a comical set-up is the U.S. feature Latter Days by writer-director C.J. Cox. It starts with Christian (Wes Ramsey), a breathtakingly shallow party boy, making a bet with friends that he can seduce Aaron (Steve Sandvoss), a Mormon missionary who has just moved in next door. It's not long before nervous, closeted Aaron seems ready to give in, but when Christian tries to close the deal by remarking, "This doesn't have to mean anything," Aaron is aghast: "Yes, it does!"
In the dialogue that follows, Aaron cuts him to the quick: "You're so pretty and colorful on the outside, but inside you're nothing but fluff. You're like a walking, talking marshmallow Peep." Stung, Christian tries to find some meaning in his life, a struggle that parallels Aaron's efforts to reconcile his sexuality and his religion. Latter Days turns out to be a film about trying to be a good person.
Other films in this festival come from Japan, Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland.
The 15th Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival continues tonight at Tokyo Women's Plaza and July 13-17 at Spiral Hall. Both venues are near Omotesando subway station. Tickets for each screening are 1,300 yen in advance or 1,500 yen at the door. Except for the Japanese film "g8-2 (kari)," movies not in English will have English subtitles. For details, fax (020) 4666-6983 or visit www.tokyo-lgff.org.
(Jul. 8, 2006)