Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Schwarzenegger To Veto Marriage Bill

Schwarzenegger To Veto Gay Marriage Billby 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 18, 2007 - 9:00 am ET
(Sacramento, California) Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced he again will veto legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry in California. And he warned lawmakers that they can keep on passing the bill and he will continue to veto it.
The only thing that would change his mind, he said Monday, is if voters overturned Proposition 22 which was passed by the electorate in 2000 to stop gay marriage, but which courts have ruled only applies to marriages performed out of state.
"It would be wrong for the people to vote for something and for me to then overturn it," Schwarzenegger told reporters at a news conference.
"We're extremely disappointed he is taking a position on the bill without meeting with a single lesbian-gay family, as we have asked him to do the last two years," said Geoff Kors, the executive director of Equality California.
"How would he feel if this was a bill affecting who he could marry?"
The governor's veto threat is his first comment on the current bill since February when he suggested he would reject it if the measure passed the legislature.
The bill passed the Senate just over a week ago. Schwarzenegger has until October 14th to sign or veto the bill.
His announced veto came as supporters of same-sex marriage prepared to hold rallies Tuesday across the state.
The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, would amend the Family Code to define marriage as a civil contract between two persons instead of a civil contract between a man and a woman.
It is almost identical to legislation passed in 2005 and vetoed by Schwarzenegger.
The measure also reaffirms that no religious institution would ever be required to solemnize marriages contrary to its fundamental beliefs.
California law already permits same-sex couples to register with the state as domestic partners, affording them hundreds of state protections.
However, same-sex couples in California and their families still are not eligible for more than a thousand federal protections offered to married couples, including family and medical leave, social security benefits, long-term care insurance and the ability to sponsor a partner for immigration benefits.
Meanwhile, the California Supreme court is expected to hear oral arguments late this year or early in 2008 challenging the state's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage. (story)
©365Gay.com 2007

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