SAN DIEGO - Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists are calling for San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg to resign after claiming that new evidence shows he abused the power of his office in an effort to block same-sex marriage.
At a midday news conference outside the County Administration Building, LGBT activist Sean Sala read from a prepared speech attacking Dronenburg: "Shame on you Ernie Dronenburg for allowing your office to be used for your own personal religious agenda. Shame on you for placing yourself above 40,000 gay couples in the state who have children who are not equal under federal law. Shame on you for using a smokescreen of lies manipulation and coy innuendo to assert your own personal interpretation of marriage."
Sala told reporters he has evidence that shows Dronenburg lied about meetings with people who may have influenced his stance on same-sex marriage, including local attorney Charles LiMandri, president of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, which defends religious freedom and the Constitution of the United States of America.
Sala also claims Dronenburg lied to taxpayers when he said his petition asking the California Supreme Court to rule on the legality of same-sex marriage would not cost San Diego County a cent. Sala claims taxpayers did pay the bill.
Sala encouraged elected officials to speak out against Dronenburg and to refuse to endorse his campaign for re-election.
Dronenburg invited reporters to his office after the news conference, claiming Sala's claims are inaccurate.
"They can call me a bigot. They can call me a liar. They can call me a manipulator. What's important is evidence," said Dronenburg. "What's important is facts.”
Dronenburg declined to state his thoughts on same-sex marriage.
"My personal feelings can't take effect in this office," he said. "I've been accused by him as letting my religion my beliefs be a part of my decision making, that's why I've said consistently from day one I enforce the law."
Dronenburg says he will not resign.