Openly gay John Laird lost his California state Senate race Tuesday.

Laird, a former Santa Cruz mayor and state assemblyman, was bested by former Assembly minority leader Sam Blakeslee, a Republican from San Luis Obispo, in the race for the state's 15th Senate District seat.

Blakeslee's win leaves Democrats two votes shy of reaching the two-thirds majority needed to approve a budget without help from Republicans.

Blakeslee opposes gay marriage, while Laird married his husband John Flores during the brief 2008 window when gay marriage was legal in the state.

“I am supportive of traditional marriage but I also understand this is a controversial issue,” Blakeslee said at a candidates forum. “Regardless of your particular view, we are a people who comply with the laws of the constitution as determined both through the initiative process and adjudicated through the courts.”

Laird's campaign was endorsed by Equality California, the state's largest gay rights advocate.

He said he'll consider taking another shot at the seat in 2012, but added that he's looking forward to spending some down time with family and friends.

“I am going to take a nice rest and help friends in the fall campaign and just figure it out later,” Laird told San Francisco gay weekly The Bay Area Reporter.

A weekend getaway with husband Flores, however, comes first.

“I don't want to become the state's first gay former legislator to file for divorce,” he joked.