The California Supreme Court was prepared to announce its decision tomorrow on Proposition 8, but has delayed the opinion at the request of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, because an announcement on Thursday would coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the conviction of Supervisor Dan White for the murders of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk on the lightest charges possible, and the subsequent White Night riots, according to the website Towleroad with exclusive sources in City Hall.

Confidential sources close to San Francisco City Hall told Towleroad’s Corey Johnson that the California Supreme Court was prepared to release its opinion on Proposition 8 tomorrow, but decided to delay the ruling after a call from Mayor Gavin Newsom.

"Newsom reached out to the Supreme Court and asked them to hold off releasing their decision so it did not coincide with the White Night riots," said our source.

Towleroad provides further explanation of the White Night Riot here, along with striking photographs and video from the event thirty years ago:

A California Supreme Court Proposition 8 decision tomorrow would fall on the 30th anniversary of the White Night riots, which were set off when the court handed down the most lenient decision possible (voluntary manslaughter) against Dan White for the murders of supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The ensuing riots in San Francisco on May 21, 1979 caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. May 22 also happens to be a significant date. It would have been Milk’s 79th birthday.

The Supreme Court’s remaining days for announcing their opinion are Tuesday, May 26th; Thursday, May 28th; or Monday, June 1st. If the ruling is ready but has been delayed per Newsom’s request, the Court may announce on Friday that an opinion should be expected on Tuesday, May 26th.

The Newsom for Governor campaign also has a kickoff planned for tomorrow at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, sure to be marred by protestors unhappy with a ruling upholding Prop 8. 

UPDATE: Statement from the Mayor’s Office:



Today a website posted an item that quoted a false allegation from an unnamed source: "Mayor [Gavin] Newsom reached out to the Supreme Court and asked them to hold off releasing their decision so it did not coincide with the White Night riots."

This allegation is not true. We have asked the website to correct the item immediately.  

UPDATE 2: Towleroad provides this late update Wednesday evening:

UPDATE: Towleroad received this tip from a highly credible source who did the interview on the condition that they remain anonymous. We have been working to get additional sources.

Gavin Newsom’s office has issued a release denying the story.

San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty spoke with Towleroad late this afternoon, saying he doubted the claims. Said Dufty: "It is implausible if not impossible to imagine that the Mayor could reach out to the California Supreme Court. Any thinking person would know that he would be radioactive to the justices given his leadership on the issue. His father is a retired federal judge. The Mayor’s courage on this issue is unimpeachable. He would not intrude in what we’ve been waiting for."

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge