Newsom hits Mormons on gay marriage 

After a New York Times article stated Mayor Gavin Newsom has been eclipsed by new players in the gay marriage cause, the mayor has been more publicly vocal on the subject.

Since the article was published, Newsom has gone on the national stage to criticize President Barack Obama for inaction on gay rights.

He has also flown to Utah – Mormon country - to snag a soapbox.

Attending the 2010 Sundance Film Festival last weekend, Newsom spoke at the premiere of “8: The Mormon Proposition,” the Mayor’s Office said.

The film is critical of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for campaigning for California’s ban on same-sex marriage. The film reportedly received a standing ovation, which a local newspaper said may have been “the friendliest audience” its director will get in Utah.

Newsom decided “at the last minute” to travel to Salt Lake City. His actress wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom was already at the festival, said Tony Winnicker, the mayor’s press secretary.

“That somehow he has stepped back from the [gay marriage] issue is ludicrous,” Winnicker said.

Newsom’s issuance of gay marriage licenses in 2004 helped get the ball rolling, and now it’s up to the legal system, including a pair of star lawyers, to keep it going, said Winnicker, who was referring to the ongoing Prop. 8 federal trial.

But that doesn’t mean Newsom will be silent on the issue.

“He’s comfortable with his [current] role,” Winnicker said.

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