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.