Sunday, February 06, 2005

Hated Gavin. Loved the Rod 

S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsom has invited every gay and lesbian couple married on Feb. 12, 2004, to a one-year anniversary party at City Hall this Saturday. He says he "will never regret" his decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses in defiance of California state law, although he still catches flak for helping to re-elect Bush -- a criticism that followed him all the way to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland:
Locally, it's no surprise that Newsom's politics remain a big hit in his super-liberal city with a large homosexual population. A recent poll of 500 San Francisco voters found that Newsom enjoys an 81 percent approval rating . . . .

But nationally, Newsom can't shake off last year's stinging criticism from party heavyweights Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who said the mayor hurt his career and his party. Headlines after President Bush won re-election suggested Newsom's bold move, which the president cited as a factor in his decision to support a federal constitutional ban, brought more conservative Bush supporters to the polls in other states.

A year later, in a town as far away as Davos, he's still hearing about it. The European politicians and business leaders who attended the panel discussion two weeks ago weren't feeling friendly toward Bush, Newsom said. "They were looking for an explanation, an excuse, and I conveniently came up in that context a number of times" . . . .

To hear Newsom tell it, he was warmly received at the Davos summit, despite pointed questions about Bush's victory.

"I didn't realize, and I say this hesitantly because I don't want to overstate it, what an impact San Francisco's decision to go forward with marriages last February had around the world -- from Israel to Cambodia," he said. "I was really humbled by how many people came up and said, 'Thank you.' "


"Who the heck does Gavin Newsom think he is?" asked Benjamin Lopez, legislative analyst and lobbyist for the Traditional Values Coalition. "I'm not so sure having the accolades of European leaders is something to brag about, when really the American people are at odds in respect to everything that Gavin Newsom stands for."

"The more Gavin Newsom talks about his fantasy of homosexual marriage licenses, the more he invigorates pro-family and conservative citizens and noncitizens," said Randy Thomasson, director of Campaign for California Families, one of the groups that sued to invalidate San Francisco's same-sex marriages.
We happened to notice another article in this morning's S.F. Chronicle, about a demographic group that may well share Messrs. Lopez and Thomasson's disdain for Gavin Newsom and the threat he poses to traditional families:
To raise a child, one needs three invaluable allies: the Bible, the help of an extended family and "biblical-based resources" -- 9-inch-long spanking paddles of blue polyurethane, according to Steve Haymond from Bakersfield, who sells the paddles online for $6.50 apiece.

Twyla Bullock, in Eufaula, Okla., swears by the Rod -- a 22-inch, $5 white nylon whipping stick her husband designed and produced until recently. Named after the biblical "rod of correction," the Rod provides "a faith-based way to discipline children ... and train them as Christians," Bullock explains . . . .

Corporal punishment has long been an accepted method of child discipline among evangelical and fundamentalist groups, but an increasing number of Christians are raising objections, arguing that advocates of spanking wrongly cite Scripture to justify a practice that should be banned. Lawrence, who peppers her conversation with quotes from the New Testament, says striking children defies the Golden Rule from the Gospel of Matthew: "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you."

Although the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association strongly oppose the physical punishment of children, the practice remains widespread among both religious and secular Americans.
In fact, we were so impressed with the staunch pro-family values of Mr. Newsom's detractors that we did a quick Google search to find out where they stood on the controversial issue of child-beating.

Traditional Values Coalition: Pro.

Campaign for California Families: Pro.

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