San Francisco Chronicle. Years back Jimmy Carter publicly opposed proposition 6.
Art Torres, the state Democratic Party leader, said in an interview that he doesn't want to see the marriage initiative become a partisan football - but he has left no doubt as to where he and his party stand.
The court's decision "marks a giant step forward in our march toward true equality," Torres said in a May 15 statement. "Now we must refocus our efforts on fighting the divisive and discriminatory ... amendment that would take away marriage equality for same-sex couples."
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, supports civil unions and equal rights for same-sex couples, but he has said repeatedly that marriage itself should be reserved for a man and a woman.
With an amendment outlawing same-sex marriage on the California ballot in November, Obama will probably be called to defend his carefully nuanced position when he campaigns in the state. That won't be a problem for him or for his remaining rival, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who also opposes same-sex marriage, said Torres.
Same-sex marriage "is an issue that is based strictly on the California Constitution," the Democratic Party chief said. "National candidates running for president normally don't take positions on local issues, so they've likely said as much as they're going to say."
California Republicans aren't likely to give Obama, or any other Democrat, a free pass on the marriage amendment. All but one of the 15 Republican state Senate members and 17 of the 32 GOP Assembly members have endorsed the initiative, along with their party's leadership.
Support for same-sex marriage "puts the leadership of the Democratic Party at odds with the mainstream voters of the state," said Ron Nehring, chair of the state Republican Party. "High-profile Democratic candidates are going to be asked if they support a radical redefinition of marriage."
The most high profile Repubican in the state of California, Governor Schwarzenegger opposes the amendment.