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I was skeptical about Gavin Newsom back when he was first running for mayor of San Francisco.

I was also skeptical about same-sex marriage back then. I thought it was too much to try for, too soon; I thought the country wasn't ready for it, and that trying to legalize it anywhere in the US would provoke a huge backlash that would set back the cause.

But then Newsom started marrying people in February, 2004, and I instantly became a big fan of both Newsom and same-sex marriage.

(For more, see my initial excited reaction and my writeup of standing outside City Hall applauding the newlyweds.)

And over the past four years, much of what I've heard of and about Newsom has only made me like him more. I heard him on KQED-radio's local morning talk show, Forum, a couple years back, and he sounded so sensible and competent and idealistic-yet-practical and charming that I was just about ready to move to SF so I could vote for him.

On Wednesday, he came and spoke at my workplace. Damn, is that man charismatic. He was talking about Proposition 8 and same-sex marriage, and I found him incredibly inspiring.

[Entry updated a few hours later, to provide a link (above) to the YouTube video of the talk. Many thanks to the people who post our videos for expediting the process in this case. More about the video in next entry.]

I don't want to oversell his talk, 'cause I don't want anyone to end up disappointed. But wow.

Okay, yes, it's true that I have rather a crush on him by this point. After the talk, he walked through the crowd, and I got to shake his hand! I may never wash this hand again. I managed to refrain from swooning, though, and I told him my favorite line from a bystander that day outside City Hall four and a half years ago: "It makes me wonder: What else can we just go ahead and do?"

Anyway, so the talk may not affect y'all as strongly as it did me. He got extended applause, but not quite the standing ovation I'd have given him.

But for me, it was magical.

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