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From the San Francisco Chronicle:
When San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presides over the city's first legal same-sex wedding Monday, there will be some very carefully arranged political stagecraft involved.
It's all geared toward voters who will decide the ultimate fate of same-sex marriages in California in November when they vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down on a state constitutional amendment that would ban them.
When then-rookie Mayor Newsom defied state law and set off a national storm by sanctioning same-sex weddings at City Hall four years ago, his chief PR master at the time, Peter Ragone, laid down some do's and don'ts for how the story was to be staged for the media.
Make it about the people, not politics, Ragone emphasized. Make the weddings as normal-looking as possible. And whenever Newsom went in front of the cameras, Ragone made sure there was a U.S. flag in the background.
Just like four years ago, the story line Newsom and gay activists are pitching this time is about fairness and "couples next door."
Tuesday is when all the real action will happen at City Hall in San Francisco. That is when the floodgates will be flung wide open for all the gay marriage you can handle. According to City Hall officials, their goal will be to conduct 500 civil ceremonies per day. For those who want to make arrangements with private officiators and clergy, the city will issue 250 marriage licenses per day until things return back to normal.
I will not be posting a new cartoon until after Tuesday because I will be at City Hall watching the celebrations.
SPECIAL REQUEST FOR TCD FANS: The San Francisco Chronicle is pondering the addition of new cartoons for their paper - a process that seems to be initiated by Darren Bell, creator of Candorville (one of my daily reads - highly recommended). You can read the Chronicle article here and please add your thoughts to the comments if you wish. If anything, put in a good word for Darren and Candorville.
I am submitting Town Called Dobson to the paper for their consideration. They seem to have given great weight to receiving 200 messages considering Candorville. I am asking TCD fans to try to surpass that amount. (I get more than that many hate mails a day, surely fans can do better?)
This is not a race between Darren and I, it is a hope that more progressive strips can be represented in the printed press of America.
So if you read the San Francisco Chronicle or live in the Bay Area (Google Analytics tell me there are a lot of you), please send your kind comments (or naked, straining outrage) to David Wiegand at his published addresses below. If you are a subscriber, cut out your mailing label and staple it to a TCD strip and include it in your letter.
Executive Datebook Editor
The San Francisco Chronicle
901 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
NOTE: The first American government entity that issued marriage licenses en masse was the City of San Francisco, from February 12th to March 11th, of which I was fortunate enough to witness first hand. Even though the Massachusetts Supreme Court approved of same-sex marriage on November 18th, 2003, the state didn't start issuing marriage licenses until May 17, 2004, several months after California's Supreme Court issued a stay to the city of San Francisco. Even though San Francisco was shot down (and later won in court) I consider San Francisco the birthplace of Gay Marriage.