TV & Radio
2005年09月07日22時30分 - 朝日
2005年 09月 7日 水曜日 19:12 JST
［サクラメント（米カリフォルニア州） ６日 ロイター］ 米カリフォルニア州議会下院は６日、同性間の結婚を認める法案を可決した。米国の州議会で同性婚が認められたのはこれが初めて。
Calif. Lawmakers Pass Gay Marriage Bill
Wednesday September 7, 2005 9:46 AM
By STEVE LAWRENCE
Associated Press Writer
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gay rights supporters cheered loudly from the gallery as California lawmakers became the first in the country to approve a bill allowing same-sex marriages. But their celebration may be short-lived.
The legislation could be vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has expressed an acceptance of gay marriages but said it's an issue that should be decided by voters or the courts.
``He will uphold whatever the court decides,'' spokeswoman Margita Thompson said Tuesday after the state Assembly approved the same-sex marriage measure, 41-35. The Senate had approved it last week.
A state appellate court is considering appeals of a lower court ruling that overturned California laws banning recognition of gay marriages. And opponents of same-sex marriage are trying to qualify initiatives for the 2006 ballot that would amend the state Constitution to ban gay marriages.
The bill's supporters compared the legislation to earlier civil rights campaigns, including efforts to eradicate slavery and give women the right to vote.
``Do what we know is in our hearts,'' said the bill's sponsor, San Francisco Democrat Mark Leno. ``Make sure all California families will have the same protection under the law.''
But opponents repeatedly cited the public's vote five years ago to approve Proposition 22, which prohibits California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries.
``History will record that you betrayed your constituents and their moral and ethical values,'' Republican Assemblyman Jay La Suer said.
Leno had sponsored an earlier bill that fell four votes short of passing the Assembly in June. He kept the issue alive by adding the language of the defeated measure to another bill that had already passed the Assembly and was awaiting action in the Senate.
The Senate approved that bill and sent it back to the Assembly for another vote. Four Democrats who didn't vote the last time tipped the scales.
One of them, Assemblyman Tom Umberg, said Tuesday he was concerned about what his three children would think of him if he didn't join those ``who sought to take a leadership role in terms of tolerance, equality and fairness.''
California already gives same-sex couples many of the rights and duties of marriage if they register with the state as domestic partners.
Massachusetts' highest court ruled in November 2003 that the state constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. The nation's first state-sanctioned, same-sex weddings began taking place in May 2004.
Vermont began offering civil unions in 2000, after a ruling by the state's Supreme Court. Earlier this year, Connecticut became the first state to approve civil unions without being forced by the courts.
Tuesday's vote showed that gay rights advocates have ``turned the corner on the issue of marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples,'' said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, a backer of the bill.
``As the debate today shows, love conquers fear, principle conquers politics and equality conquers injustice, and the governor can now secure his legacy as a true leader by signing this bill,'' he said.
But Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families, a conservative group opposed to the bill, said Schwarzenegger should veto it.
``Schwarzenegger can't afford to sign the gay marriage license bill,'' he said. ``He'll actually become a hero to the majority of Californians when he vetoes it.''
On the Net:
Campaign for Children and Families: http://www.savecalifornia.com/
Equality California: http://www.eqca.org/
Posted on Wed, Sep. 07, 2005
Historic OK for gay vows
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE FIRST IN U.S. TO APPROVE LEGALIZATION
By Aaron C. Davis
San Jose Mercury News Sacramento Bureau
SACRAMENTO - In a stunning, historic decision, the California Legislature on Tuesday night became the first statehouse in the nation to approve same-sex marriage legislation.
The Assembly's 41-35 vote -- the one-vote majority needed to pass the bill -- forces Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the eve of a divisive November special election, into the awkward role of being the first U.S. governor to decide if gays can marry.
The bill would rewrite the state's definition of marriage as between "two persons,'' instead of as a union between ``a man and a woman.'' Schwarzenegger has 30 days to sign or veto the bill. If he takes no action, the bill would also become law, and California would become the second state behind Massachusetts to legally sanction same-sex marriage and the first to do so through legislation, not a court order.
Schwarzenegger press secretary Margita Thompson would not say Tuesday whether the governor would sign the bill that bitterly divided the Legislature.
The Assembly's decision followed on a wave of legislative support for gay marriage that began last week when the state Senate became the nation's first legislative body to approve it. Still, Tuesday's vote was unexpected by many. The Assembly had rejected the same measure in June.
``I'm stunned,'' said Patrick Soricone, executive director of the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center in San Jose, who watched the debate over the Internet.
``We feel extraordinary,'' said Geoff Kors, executive director of the gay rights lobbying group Equality California. ``It's overwhelming to know that today will be looked back upon in history as the turning point in the struggle for marriage equality.''
Others, though, felt the Legislature's decision did not reflect the voters of California, who in 2000 passed a statewide initiative that stated marriage is between a man and a woman.
``California's Legislature today widened the chasm that separates the people from the politicians by voting to legalize same-sex marriage,'' said state Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim, ``and pushing an extreme agenda that does not address the very serious concerns of people from all walks of life in our state.''
In the Capitol, the Assembly chambers erupted with applause after the vote and bill author Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, began hugging friends and colleagues on the floor.
The Assembly's vote followed an intense weekend of lobbying in Sacramento, during which three moderate Democrats who represent districts with heavy Latino or Catholic constituencies were persuaded to support it. In June, all three had abstained.
On Tuesday night, however, Leno said he was forever indebted to those who supported the measure, despite the political risks.
``It was a thing of beauty on the floor,'' Leno said. ``To see so many colleagues standing up and speaking about the importance of civil rights and dignity and respect for all of our citizens, all of our families, all of our children.''
Assembly Republicans almost uniformly opposed the measure, including Guy Houston of Livermore, who was the only Bay Area legislator who didn't support the bill. Two Democrats and one Republican abstained.
``The definition of marriage is well defined in Western society . . . it's one man and one woman,'' said Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine. ``No matter how much we want to vote on it here in this body, that will never change.''
Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy, R-Monrovia, was more personal. ``I now have to teach my children that this is acceptable behavior,'' Mountjoy said. ``But this is not acceptable behavior.''
Two initiatives are already being circulated to put a constitutional ban on gay marriage before voters next year -- and 14 states have banned gay marriage since 2004.
Leno's bill, AB 849, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, would amend the state's Family Code, to define marriage as ``a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons.''
Peter Ragone, a spokesman for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, whose decision to defiantly issue marriage certificates helped spur the national debate, said the mayor applauded the Assembly's decision but Schwarzenegger may be a tougher sell: ``He has been hard to pin down on this one.''
Indeed, the vote will force Schwarzenegger into taking a stand on one of the most contentious issues in modern-day politics on the eve of his planned November special election.
To continue to receive the backing of deep-pocketed Republican donors and to further his political career, many political analysts said Schwarzenegger must veto the bill.
Others say it's not a given Schwarzenegger will veto it. He has made contradictory remarks on the topic, they note, and Schwarzenegger's personal views on gay marriage have always remained somewhat of a mystery.
In an interview with Jay Leno on ``The Tonight Show With Jay Leno'' last year, the governor said he would be ``fine'' with gay marriage. At other times, Schwarzenegger has said he opposes gay marriage and supports the status quo: 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, said his spokeswoman, Thompson, on Tuesday. ``It's now before the courts, which is where the governor believes it belongs.''
The June vote in the Assembly fell four votes short, but one supporter of the bill was absent and several Democrats abstained. Over the weekend they faced intense lobbying.
In the office of Assemblyman Simon Salinas, D-Salinas, who plans to seek the Merced Senate seat held by Republican Jeffrey Denham next year, the phones rang incessantly Tuesday.
Although Salinas, who represents a small portion of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, had told the Mercury News late last week that he believes that marriage should remain a union between a man and a woman, and that he would likely again abstain from voting, Salinas cast the deciding 41st yes vote.
``I will be indebted for a lifetime to Simon Salinas,'' Leno said.
Salinas said he is still considering running for the Senate and thinks his record on immigrant rights and environmental quality will outweigh his vote on gay marriage.
``With every vote, I think, you look at the political implications,'' Salinas said, ``and in the end you have do what's right.''
Mercury News reporters Kate Folmar, Laura Kurtzman, Andrew LaMar and MaryAnne Ostrom contributed to this report. Contact Aaron C. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 325-4315.
Gay-Marriage Bill Narrowly Passes California Assembly
By Nancy Vogel
10:03 PM PDT, September 6, 2005 Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO—The California Legislature made history Tuesday as the Assembly passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. With no votes to spare, California's lawmakers became the first in the United States to act without a court order to sanction gay unions. The measure was approved after three Democratic lawmakers, who abstained on a similar proposal that failed in June, changed their minds under intense lobbying by bill author Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and gay and civil rights activists.
The bill, which would change California's legal definition of marriage from "a civil contract between a man and a woman" to a "civil contract between two persons," now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The governor has signaled that he will veto it.
Tuesday's partisan vote came after 23 lawmakers spoke for an hour and a half, many of them describing the historic importance of their action, others relating intensely personal stories.
In a moment of high drama, with dozens of gay-rights supporters watching from the Assembly gallery, Salinas hesitated for several seconds as the tally hung at 40 "ayes" — one short of passage. Then, having promised Leno months ago that he would not let the bill fail if it garnered 40 votes, Salinas pressed the "aye" button on his desk, making the final vote 41-35. Those seconds "seemed like an eternity," said Mark Guzman of El Dorado Hills, as he and his partner of 14 years, J. Scott Coatsworth, celebrated in the Capitol rotunda after the voting.
Assemblymembers Tom Umberg of Anaheim, Gloria Negrete-McLeod of Chino and Simon Salinas of Salinas provided the key votes. Assemblymember Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton), who had missed the Assembly floor vote in June, also helped the bill prevail.
Assemblyman Jerome Horton, (D-Inglewood), one of the lawmakers who abstained in June when Leno's bill failed 37-36, withheld his vote again Tuesday. Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia (R-Imperial City) abstained after having voted "no" in June. Assemblyman Joe Baca, Jr. (D-Rialto) also abstained Tuesday.
Two of the lawmakers who switched their votes from abstain to "aye" said in floor speeches that they were glad for another chance.
Umberg elicited applause and whoops in the otherwise hushed chamber when he described why he had changed his mind. He said he had been "cajoled, been harassed, been harangued and been threatened" by friends over the issue.
"This is one of those time when history looks upon us to see where we are," said Umberg. "Ten years from now, there are a handful of issues that history will record where we stood and this is one of those issues."
"History will record whether we pushed a bit, took the lead to encourage tolerance, to encourage equality to encourage fairness," he said.
"The constituency I'm concerned about is a very small one," said Umberg, "and that's the constituency of my three children, should they decide to look back on my record ... and reflect on where I was when we could make a difference."
Negrete-McLeod similarly said she regretted abstaining in June.
The fight over same-sex marriage will now shift to the governor's office -- and to the courts and perhaps the ballot box. A case testing the legality of gay marriage is moving toward the state Supreme Court, and opponents of same-sex marriage are trying to qualify two different initiatives to ban gay marriage for the ballot next year.
Leno characterized gay marriage as the most important civil rights issue of the 21st century. He enlisted Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, and Alice Huffman, California president of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, to help him lobby undecided lawmakers.
Huerta said she spoke to Salinas last week and "went back to our old culture, the Latino culture."
"Respecting other people's rights is peace," she said. "Respecting other people's rights to marry who they want is a constitutional right, it's a human right and it's a privacy right. I said to Simon, 'You've got to be a leader . . . .You've got to have courage.' "
Opponents of same-sex marriage call Leno's bill unconstitutional, saying that it overturns what voters put into law five years ago when they passed Proposition 22 by 61%. That initiative stated that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.
"The only word I can see here is prostitution," said Randy Thomasson, president of the nonprofit Campaign for Children and Families. "Instead of obeying the votes and the constitution, the Democratic politicians have prostituted themselves to the homosexual marriage agenda. It's not gay, it's bad."
After Leno's bill fell three votes short of passing the Assembly in June, he inserted the gay marriage legislation into a bill about marine research that was pending in the Senate. That bill, AB 849, cleared the Senate on Thursday, also with the minimum number of votes necessary.
Some Republicans, none of whom voted for Leno's bill, downplayed the historic significance of the vote and said gay marriage is not an issue of civil rights.
Others criticized Leno for reviving the bill after the June defeat and called homosexual marriage immoral.
"The institution of marriage transcends political fads," said Assemblyman Ray Haynes (R-Murrieta). "We are talking about an institution that has been defined for thousands of years . . . and we are being asked to engage in a great social experiment."
Leno said he optimistic that Schwarzenegger has an open mind on his bill, which the governor has until Oct. 9 to veto or sign. He noted that public opinion on gay marriage is evenly split, 46% to 46%, in California based on a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.
"I believe this is a governor who at his core is a libertarian on issues of social matters," said Leno, "and that he is very fair --minded."
"I think he also takes the longer, rather than shorter, view of history," he said.
After the Assembly vote, Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson said, "The people spoke when they passed Proposition 22.
"The issue subsequently went to the courts. The governor believes the courts are the correct venue for this decision to be made, " Thompson said. "He will uphold whatever decision the court renders."