Mayor Jerry Sanders is sticking with his position against same-sex marriage, as we reported earlier today. If the council approves sending a “friend of the court” letter to the state Supreme Court on behalf of same-sex marriage proponents, Sanders says he will veto it

(We left an open-ended question earlier: What is the mayor’s role in this same-sex marriage brief? Maria Velasquez, a spokeswoman for the City Attorney’s Office, confirmed today that Sanders will be able to provide his input by either signing the proposal or vetoing it.)

Steve Francis, Sanders’ most likely challenger in 2008, has a stance similar to the mayor’s: Generally, he’s for gay rights, but against same-sex marriage.

“[My wife and I] have a long history of being supportive of gay rights, however I think the people of California have already spoken on this issue,” he said, referring to Proposition 22, which passed in 2000 and prevents the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.

A potential newcomer to a mayoral debate is state Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny, who is being recruited by local Democratic officials to run for mayor.

Several of the party activists I spoke with yesterday said the gay and lesbian community had been cool to Ducheny in the past for being vague on her same-sex marriage stance. But they noted Ducheny voted for legislation supporting same-sex marriage within the last month, which could produce inroads for her in a gay and lesbian community that has been generally supportive of the Republican Sanders.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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