11/5/04 9:00 AM EST
San Francisco Mayor's Embrace Of Gay Marriage Blamed By Some For Kerry's Defeat
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome's decision last February to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, which drew widespread media attention, is being cast by some Democrats as setting in play a chain of events that ultimately led to John Kerry's defeat on Tuesday. The New York Times reports some "in the party were suggesting even before the election that Mr. Newsom had played into President Bush's game plan by inviting a showdown on the divisive same-sex-marriage issue." Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, "I believe it did energize a very conservative vote. I think it gave them a position to rally around. I'm not casting a value judgment. I'm just saying I do believe that's what happened. So I think that whole issue has been too much, too fast, too soon. And people aren't ready for it." Rep. Barney Frank said "Mr. Newsom had helped to galvanize Mr. Bush's conservative supporters in those states by playing into people's fears of same-sex weddings." Frank said, "The thing that agitated people were the mass weddings."