TV & Radio
upper part of San Francisco Chronicle's front page (2005/09/07)
米加州が同性婚法案可決 議会、知事に送付 (共同 2005/09/07)
Calif. Assembly passes bill to allow gay marriage
Wed Sep 7, 2005 1:28 AM ET
SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - A bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry won final passage on Tuesday in the California Assembly, marking the first time a state legislature in the United States has endorsed gay marriage.
The bill by San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Mark Leno passed by a 41-35 vote, with the help of four Democrats who had not voted for it when the Assembly had previously taken up the legislation.
The state Senate backed the same bill last week.
"I couldn't do anything but keep going. It says something for being a little bit tenacious," Leno told cheering supporters.
Both the California Assembly and state Senate are controlled by Democrats. The office of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has previously opposed gay marriage, issued a statement saying he believes that the issue is best decided in the courts.
California voters in 2000 endorsed a ballot measure defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, but that ban on same-sex marriages is facing court challenges.
The California Supreme Court has ruled invalid same-sex marriage licenses issued in 2004 by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, which helped fuel a national debate over gay marriage.
Opponents of gay marriage aim to place a measure on next year's ballot that would amend the state Constitution to include a ban.
"I think it's a sad day," Republican Assemblywoman Sharon Runner of Lancaster, California, said of the bill's passage.
"I think the people of California want us to do the business of jobs, the economy, education, illegal immigration, and today we had to spend several hours talking about an issue that the voters decided back five years ago, that marriage should be between a man and a woman ... I think it shows how out of touch the legislature is."
Massachusetts in 2004 became the first U.S. state to allow gay marriage, in response to a ruling by the state's Supreme Court. Massachusetts lawmakers are to vote next week on a proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but the proposal is not expected to succeed.
(Reporting by Jenny O'Mara in Sacramento California)
Gay marriage up to governor now
Landmark legislation clears Assembly by narrowest of margins on second try
- Lynda Gledhill, San Francisco Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Sacramento -- The state Assembly, in a stunning victory for the gay rights movement, approved a landmark bill allowing same-sex marriage Tuesday night and sent it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The measure, which passed with no votes to spare, marks the first time that a legislative body in the United States has approved a bill that legalizes gay marriage. Schwarzenegger has not taken an official position on the legislation but has hinted that he would veto it.
Just three months after the Assembly defeated an identical bill, 41 Democrats voted to approve the measure. Three Democrats who had abstained on the previous measure changed position and voted for the bill.
"It's always a dilemma whether to follow or lead. This is one of those times history is looking to us to lead," said Assemblyman Tom Umberg, D-Santa Ana, one of the swing votes, during more than an hour of debate. The final vote was 41-35, with all Republicans and a handful of Democrats opposed.
The bill, AB849, does not require any religious organization to recognize or perform marriages for same-sex couples. The bill makes the law defining marriage gender-neutral. California state law did not place gender into the marriage code until 1977.
Opponents have promised to go to court if the bill becomes law, saying it violates the spirit of Proposition 22, a 2000 ballot initiative that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. They also say they will go to the polls next year with proposed constitutional amendments that would ban same-sex marriage.
"What about Prop. 22? What about the 62 percent of Californians who supported it? What about their will?" asked Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy, R-Monrovia (Los Angeles County). "If this legislation doesn't subvert the will of the people, I don't know what does."
Schwarzenegger's office has repeated that he believes the issue should be decided either by a vote of the people or a court decision. He has said he supports the state's current domestic partnership laws.
"The governor believes the people spoke with Prop. 22, and that is now in the courts," said Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson. "The governor believes that is where it belongs and will uphold any decisions the courts make."
Massachusetts became the only state that allows same-sex marriage after a court ruling. Vermont permits civil unions.
Supporters and opponents of the bill focused on a handful of moderate Democrats who had abstained on the measure previously. Their offices reported getting a huge influx of calls and letters on the issue from both sides.
San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno, the Democrat who wrote the bill, said reaching the benchmark of 41 votes was difficult. When the final vote was called, there was a moment of stunned silence before supporters broke out in cheers. Leno grabbed Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, in a bear hug and lifted him off the floor with glee.
"He was resolute in his leadership," Leno said of the speaker. "He always said civil rights is civil rights."
Leno said momentum has been building in favor of same-sex marriage, and several events in the past few months helped to turn the tide in the Assembly. Those include endorsements from the United Farm Workers Union and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa along with the nation of Spain approving marriage for same-sex couples.
Umberg said that of all the constituents who contacted him on the bill, he had ultimately looked to his three children.
"I wanted them to look back and see where I was when we could make a difference, if I stood with those who took a leadership role in terms of tolerance, equity and fairness," he said. "And I'll be proud to say I did."
Assemblywoman Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino (Santa Barbara County), was another swing vote. She said she was convinced listening to the words of the Declaration of Independence that demanded "justice for all." Assemblyman Simon Salinas, D-Salinas, was the third member who had previously abstained to vote "aye" and push the bill to victory.
Opponents said Democrats who voted for the bill are not leaders.
"I say you are betraying the people of California," said Assemblyman Jay La Suer, R-La Mesa (San Diego County). "You are not leading. You have gone astray."
The Capitol rotunda was a scene of cheers, hugs and tears of joy as ecstatic supporters of the bill streamed out of the Assembly gallery after the 41st vote was recorded.
"I kept telling myself it wouldn't pass because I didn't want to get my hopes up,'' said Suzanne Neilsen of Sacramento, her arm wrapped tightly around her partner, Jan Roberts.
Neilsen and Roberts were married in San Francisco on Valentine's Day 2004 and were crushed when the state Supreme Court declared their wedding invalid.
"We're regular people like everyone else,'' said Roberts, fighting off tears. "Now, our rights are there. Even filling out our taxes every year will be easier.''
Hanus Jelinek of San Francisco said that far from threatening marriage, the bill would allow him to live the same life as anyone else.
"I can settle down with my beloved, and the government will just leave us alone,'' he said.
Focus now turns to Schwarzenegger.
"Schwarzenegger can't afford to sign the 'gay marriage license' bill," said Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, which helped lead the statewide battle against AB849. "He'll actually become a hero to the majority of Californians when he vetoes it. The Terminator should announce without delay that this bill is dead meat."
But Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, said the governor would be deciding his legacy when he decides whether to sign or veto the bill.
"He will determine whether he will be the first governor to do a little heavy lifting and support equality for all or whether he will become the first governor to terminate our rights," he said. "We know in his heart he wants to do the right thing."
What happened, what's ahead
What the bill does
Makes law defining marriage gender neutral.
What the bill does not do
Require religious organizations to recognize or perform marriages for same-sex couples.
The governor has hinted he will veto the bill. If he doesn't, opponents promise to fight the law in court. They also promise to work for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
Chronicle staff writer John Wildermuth contributed to this report. E-mail Lynda Gledhill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page A - 1
Assembly roll call on gay marriage bill
By The Associated Press
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
(09-06) 21:09 PDT , (AP) --
Here is the 41-35 roll call by which the California Assembly approved a bill that would allow gay marriages. The bill now goes to the governor:
Democrats for: Bass, Berg, Bermudez, Calderon, Canciamilla, Chan, Chavez, Chu, Cohn, Coto, De La Torre, Dymally, Evans, Frommer, Goldberg, Hancock, Jones, Karnette, Klehs, Koretz, Laird, Leno, Levine, Lieber, Liu, Montanez, Mullin, Nation, Nava, Negrete McLeod, Nunez, Oropeza, Pavley, Ridley-Thomas, Ruskin, Saldana, Salinas, Torrico, Umberg, Wolk, Yee. Total: 41.
Democrats against: Arambula, Matthews, Parra, Vargas.
Republicans for: None.
Republicans against: Aghazarian, Benoit, Blakeslee, Bogh, Cogdill, Daucher, DeVore, Emmerson, Harman, Haynes, S. Horton, Houston, Huff, Keene, La Malfa, La Suer, Leslie, Maze, McCarthy, Mountjoy, Nakanishi, Niello, Plescia, Richman, Runner, Spitzer, Strickland, Tran, Villines, Walters, Wyland. Total: 31.
Not voting: Baca-D, Garcia-R, J. Horton-D.
Posted on Tue, Sep. 06, 2005
Calif. lawmakers approve gay marriage
GOVERNOR MUST NOW CONSIDER LANDMARK LEGISLATION
By Kate Folmar
San Jose Mercury News Sacramento Bureau
SACRAMENTO - The California Assembly this evening endorsed same-sex marriage -- the first legislature in the nation to do so -- sending the landmark civil rights legislation to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk.
The measure passed 41-35, receiving the absolute minimum necessary to pass. Assemblyman Simon Salinas, D-Salinas, who had abstained when the matter came before the assembly two months ago, cast the deciding vote.
Margita Thompson, Schwarzenegger's press secretary, would not say whether Schwarzenegger would sign the gay-marriage bill. The governor does support the state's current domestic partnership laws, which grant same sex couples many, but not all, of the rights and obligations of married couples.
``The governor believes that the people spoke when they voted in Proposition 22,'' which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, Thompson said. ``It's now before the courts, which is where the governor believes it belongs. He will uphold whatever the court decides.''
Spurred by Senate approval of AB 849 last week, the Assembly this evening took up the gay marriage bill -- a measure that the lower house rejected by four votes in June.
Shortly after debate began, two Assembly members who had previously abstained from voting on the gay marriage bill said they would vote yes.
``Leadership is doing what's right even when it's not popular,'' said Assemblyman Lloyd Levine. The Van Nuys Democrat said gay marriage is a civil rights matter.
The Republicans who spoke against the bill said that voters rejected gay marriage when they Passed Proposition 22 in 2000. They said traditional heterosexual marriages are best for children
``We are rolling the dice and taking a huge gamble'' with the lives of children, said Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Temecula.
Contact Kate Folmar at email@example.com or (916) 441-4602