After learning Friday that San Jose attorney Steven Pogue contributed $500 to the 2008 Proposition 8 campaign to ban gay marriage, the Palo Alto Weekly has rescinded its endorsement of his election to the Santa Clara County Superior Court.
The paper recommends Pogue's opponent, Cynthia Sevely, a deputy district attorney.
The Weekly learned of Pogue's active support of Prop. 8 from several readers, and Pogue confirmed he was a donor to the campaign late Friday afternoon.
"The Weekly is a strong supporter of gay rights and of gay marriage, and we cannot lend our endorsement to a candidate for judge who has actively attempted to deny this right," Weekly publisher Bill Johnson said.
None of the judicial candidates, including Pogue, was asked to state a position on Prop. 8 during endorsement interviews with the Weekly.
Pogue said in a statement on Friday that he believes the state should simply register domestic partners and leave marriage up to an individual's "...religion, philosophy or vows on a starry night."
Doing so would force the federal government to recognize civil unions, he said, and it would ease feelings among gay people that they were being denied something and those who believe only in marriage between a man and a woman would not feel they were being forced by the state to accept the state's definition.
Johnson said candidates' views on gay marriage may or may not be important to individual voters, but by providing active financial and public support of a highly divisive and emotional ballot measure, Pogue showed a passion on the issue that is inconsistent with the qualities the Weekly is looking for in a judge.