Hot Ticket: Newsom's 'Winter of Love' Shindig at State Demo Confab

It should be THE party of the state Democratic convention Saturday, when Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom joins with Equality California in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the “Winter of Love” when gay and lesbian couples were first allowed to marry at San Francisco City Hall.

Wilson Phillips and other “surprise guests” will be on hand with Newsom at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles for the shingdig, being held during this weekend’s Democratic event there.

It’s part of a packed schedule as California Democrats are expected to gather by the hundreds starting Friday for their convention, where they’ll plan strategy for the midterm elections and hear from a crowd of elected officials and key figures in the party.

Those will include Gov. Jerry Brown, Newsom, state Attorney General Kamala Harris, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Controller John Chiang, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, state schools chief Tom Torlakson, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Next Generation co-founder Tom Steyer, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Rep. Barbara Lee.

Newsom’s party will mark the 10-year anniversary of his Feb. 12, 2004, proclamation opening City Hall to same-sex weddings. The state Supreme Court later invalidated the marriages, but the event kick-started the movement that eventually resulted in same-sex couples being legally allowed to wed in California.

On Saturday, Newsom will be on stage with some of the couples who married in 2004. And he’ll  celebrate California’s role as a trend-setter: Today, 17 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.

Here’s a look at the invite, sure to be a hot ticket:
[FINAL Invite]

The event is a saavy one that provides young Dems with name entertainment, and Newsom with a real payoff — for both now and the future: voter outreach to youth, LGBT voters and the Democratic base.

After more than a few years of covering these Dem events, we note that this is just the latest in what’s become a Newsom convention tradition of big theme, free events that attract crowds of young Dems to his camp.

Some of his past fiestas:

• 2013 (Sacramento) – “Live from the Blue Carpet,” A CELEBRATION OF CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC WOMEN, with DJ Spinderella from Salt-N-Pepa
• 2012 (San Diego) – “Voices for Higher Education,” with Q-Tip from Tribe Called Quest and cast members from Fox’s “GLEE”
• 2011 (Sacramento) – “Gavin and Gavin celebrate Public Education,” with Gavin DeGraw
• 2010 (Los Angeles) – “Late Night at the Grammy Museum,” with Lisa Loeb and Good Charlotte
• 2009 (Sacramento) – “Block Party for California,” with Wyclef Jean and Biz Markie
• 2008 (Denver) – “Unconventional,” with Sarah Silverman, Death Cab for Cutie and She & Him (and Z-Trip)
• 2004 (Boston) – “GQ Magazine honors Gavin Newsom,” with Nelly
Steve Roth, spokesman for Equality California — the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group — says that this time around, there’s an important historic marker in the mix.

“When the “Winter of Love” began 10 years ago, it set into motion a lot of the marriage movement here in California. And it’s been a series of ups and downs — it seems like a million years ago,” he said. But “what the Lt. Governor did pushed the envelope, and laid the groundwork for the future,” he said. “It all happened in San Francisco , but we want to celebrate the progress we’ve made as a community — and as a state.”

To see this article in its original format, go HERE