With Appeal contrib Jip Chonson too busy preparing for his BFFs to come to town, I guess I’ll have to take up the slack today when it comes to keeping an eye on the Chronicle opinion-pages coverage of gay equality. Despite their fabulous new color printing presses, it seems like their rainbow flag lost a bit of color this week. Read on, and see if you agree!

Today there’s this unbylined (because it’s journalistic tradition! But BLOGS ARE BAD) missive from the Chronicle’s editorial board, “Reinstate Prop. 8 backer on Oakland panel,” which we assume is a reaction to the reactions to Chip Johnson’s Chron column on the same subject.

This page has long supported marriage equality – and opposed Proposition 8 as a matter of civil rights. In the political arena, it is a battle for hearts and minds. Petty vengeance is no way to win hearts and minds.

And it’s true — the Chron has been a supporter of marriage equality.

But, it is interesting how this slowly seems to be changing, and we’re not just talking about Johnson’s recent column (and their subsequent defense)!

For example, we also have Chronicle editorial board member (and, as she described herself when she introduced herself to me “token conservative”) Debra J. Saunders who worries about the “unintended consequences” of a Prop 8 overturn on Sunday:

My fear: That someday some judge will recognize polygamous marriages lest a family in Berkeley feel unhappy or because anti-polygamy laws discriminate on the basis of religion. If the no-on-Prop. 8 argument prevails, why not?

Hey! You know who else is worried about that? San Diego pastor Jim Garlow, who led a rally (the video tape of which was used in court by those working to overturn the marriage ban) in which a pastor announced:

“the polygamists are waiting in the wings, because if a man can marry a man and a woman can marry a woman, the polygamists are going to use that exact same argument and they probably are going to win.”

Who knows, maybe the Chron’s just having a tough week. Or maybe this is a reflection of a more “conservative” direction for the Paper That Will Not Die? We’ll keep watching, and Jip will, too.

Unlike many of our respected friends in the San Francisco news space, The San Francisco Appeal does not practice advocacy journalism. We have no dogs in fights, and do our best to report as objectively as we can without being totally boring and cheesy. However, we are, indeed “anti Prop-8 cheerleaders.” This is because we are not fucking bigots!

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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