(CNSNews.com) - As thousands of same-sex couples get marriage licenses in San Francisco -- by order of the Democratic mayor -- a small group of Republicans sees nothing wrong with men marrying men and women marrying women.
"It's a pretty basic issue. It's about equality," said Plattsburgh, N.Y., Mayor Daniel Stewart, who is openly homosexual. Plattsburgh, located along the banks of Lake Champlain near the US-Canadian border, has a population of just over 18,000.
"For years the consensus of the gay community is that marriage is about stable and committed relationships," Mayor Stewart said in an interview with CNS News.com.
"It is a right that should be afforded to everyone, gay or not gay. The ruling that came out of Massachusetts, I believe, is legitimate."
But, Mayor Stewart added, he is concerned about San Franciscans "taking the law into their own hands." Stewart said he thinks San Francisco's civil disobedience may galvanize support for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
"Women's rights, the rights of African Americans, these were reasons to challenge and reshape the Constitution," he said. "These issues didn't take away rights, they gave rights to individuals who did not have rights by law. Taking away the right for gay people to marry would be just that, taking away the rights of individuals. The Constitution does not need to be messed with. That would be a real travesty, said Stewart."
Mayor Stewart said because of the controversy generated by the "marriage" issue, he will not attend this year's Republican National Convention.
"I'm not going," he said. "I am seeing a resurgence of 1992 when people got up on the podium and bashed gay marriage. I don't want to be there and have to walk out."
The Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest homosexual Republican organization, believes that writing discrimination into the Constitution is wrong.
"It is not conservative, it is not Republican, and it will not strengthen America," Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerriero in a prepared statement.
"As conservative Republicans, we are outraged that any Republican, particularly the leader of our party and this nation, would support any effort to use our sacred United States Constitution as a way of scoring political points in an election year. There is nothing compassionate about discriminating against part of the American family," the statement said.
The issue of same-sex "marriage" is a topic of discussion, not just in Boston and San Francisco, but in many cities in between.
Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley (D), a devout Catholic, recently said he would have "no problem" if the Cook County clerk started issuing marriage licenses to homosexuals.
"People should look at their own life and look in their own mirror. Marriage has been undermined for a number of years if you look at the facts and figures on it. Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community," Daley was quoted as saying.
The Democratic mayor of Minneapolis recently issued a proclamation in favor of treating homosexual couples the same as heterosexual couples.
The Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City recently was quoted as saying that the actions of San Francisco's mayor "would allow more people to see the benefits of allowing gays to marry." Salt Lake City Mayor Ross Anderson is an honorary board member of the pro-gay-marriage group Freedom to Marry.
One New Mexico county would have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples last week, but the state attorney general intervened.
While some big city mayors favor same-sex "marriage," polls indicate a majority of their constituents do not feel the same way.
A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showed 55 percent of Americans oppose the idea of homosexuals marrying each other. A nationwide Associated Press poll also showed a majority of Americans would support a national law banning same-sex marriage.
A poll this month conducted in Minnesota by Minnesota Public Radio reported six in ten state residents are against same-sex "marriage." Other recent statewide polls conducted in Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma show a majority of residents in those states also oppose legalizing same-sex marriage.