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After hearing three hours of public testimony on the issue Tuesday, the San Diego City Council approved sending a letter to the state Supreme Court endorsing same-sex marriage.

The letter will be used in lawsuits pending before California’s high court that seek to make same-sex marriage legal. A law voters approved in 2000, known as Proposition 22, bans same-sex marriage.

Numerous same-sex couples filed the suits after their marriages were deemed unconstitutional by the state Court of Appeal in 2006. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom had issued the marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but those were overturned and subject to the court’s review in 2004.

As expected, Councilwoman Donna Frye changed her earlier no vote to swing the council in favor of the proposal. The council fell one vote short earlier this month when Frye voted against the legislation, claiming it was rushed to a vote before the public could have a reasonable opportunity to weigh in on the issue. A significantly larger portion of the public attended and spoke at Tuesday’s meeting than at the Sept. 4 hearing.

Besides Frye, Council President Scott Peters and council members Toni Atkins, Jim Madaffer and Ben Hueso voted to send the “friend of the court” brief. Councilmen Kevin Faulconer, Tony Young and Brian Maienschein voted against it.

The proposal is now in the hands of Mayor Jerry Sanders, who vowed to veto it this morning. The same five votes required to pass the proposal will be needed to override the mayor’s veto.

Peters spokeswoman Pam Hardy said the council anticipates to vote on an override sometime next week, in time to meet the court’s Sept. 26 deadline for receiving the advisory briefs.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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