Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin has announced that she now supports gay marriage. Swearengin, a Republican who is running for state controller had been a supporter of Proposition 8. She announced her new position last week at a meeting of an LGBT conservative group in Southern California.
Kevin Gilhooley is the president of the Orange County Log Cabin Republicans. Swearengin spoke to his group last week and took questions from the audience.
Gilhooley: "When she was starting to address the question or the issue that was being raised by one of our members, she said 'let me just say right off the bat, I support marriage equality.' And the room of 32 people I had [there] just erupted in applause."
When asked by Valley Public Radio about her changing views on the issue at a recent campaign event, Swearengin said it's outside the scope of the office of state controller:
Swearengin: "It's not been a focal point of my campaign. it's unlikely I would ever have any opportunity to address the issue as state controller. So for the most part I'm staying focused on the two issues I'm campaigning on, the fiscal health of the state and economic development throughout California."
In a written statement released this week Swearengin said she recognizes that same sex marriage is now legal in California and that it is "time to move beyond this issue."