Gay marriage ruling has California, and Democrat Jerry Brown’s Twitter feed, buzzing
Democrat Jerry Brown has long been an outspoken critic of California’s ban on same-sex marriages, even refusing to defend the voter approved law known as Proposition 8 in court in his role as California’s attorney general — a move that won the hearts of gay and civil rights activists even as it raised eyebrows among legal scholars .
So before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker even ruled on Thursday that gay marriages can resume next week, while those who oppose them appeal his earlier decision finding the ban unconstitutional, Jerry Brown the candidate for governor was Tweeting out his support:
“Hoping Judge Walker will allow same-sex couples in CA to marry while the Prop 8 case appeal is pending. We should find out before noon,” Brown (or someone on his staff) Tweeted about two hours before the ruling.
And the Tweet paid off for Brown, who has been criticized among members of his own party for a slow start in the governor’s race against Republican Meg Whitman, a political novice and Silicon Valley billionaire who — in largely bankrolling her own campaign — has so far outspent him by a huge margin. As of mid-afternoon, Brown’s comment was one of the most re-tweeted of the day on the topic of Prop 8.
After Walker’s ruling, Brown followed with another Tweet, quoting social reformer Frances Wright: “Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.”
For her part, Whitman, who as a former eBay CEO has had no public role in the fight over gay marriage in California, has said that she supported Prop 8 and believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, although she backs civil unions. Her Twitter feed makes no mention of Walker’s ruling — although it does announce that she now has 50,000 fans on Facebook.
Walker stayed his ruling until August 18, meaning that opponents of gay marriage have until then to appeal to a higher court. And both sides, along with most political observers, believe that the case may ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the meantime, expect gay marriage to be an issue in the California governor’s race — and on Jerry Brown’s Twitter feed.
Photo credits: REUTERS/Fred Prouser (Brown at a news conference in Los Angeles in April); REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (Same sex couple Terese Rowe (C) and Kristin Orbin wait to receive a marriage license application in San Francisco, August 12, 2010)