TV & Radio
California Governor to Veto Bill Authorizing Same-Sex Marriage
By John Pomfret
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 8, 2005; A04
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 7 -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced Wednesday night that he will veto landmark legislation that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry.
In a statement, Schwarzenegger's press secretary, Margita Thompson, said the governor opposes the legislation, passed Tuesday night by the California Assembly and last week by the state Senate, because he thinks the matter should be decided by California's courts or its voters.
Schwarzenegger's decision ends the prospects for the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, which passed along strict party lines after an impassioned debate in the California Assembly. The measure would have recast the state's legal definition of marriage as a union between two people rather than a union between a man and a woman.
The vote marked the first time that a state legislature had approved a bill authorizing same-sex marriage without a court order. Massachusetts has passed regulations allowing gay marriage, but only after state courts ordered it to do so.
Gay rights advocates had hailed the Assembly's vote as a victory for civil rights and as a sign that California was again setting a trend for the nation to follow. Conservative activists said the law underscored the lax morality of modern society, and they predicted it would weaken families.
Critics accused Schwarzenegger of dodging an important issue and playing to his Republican conservative base. The onetime movie star's popularity has sagged to its lowest point since he rolled to power on the back of a recall vote in 2003.
"The guy has decided he'd rather shore his relationship with a minority right-wing base than to behave in a way that's more centrist," said Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles), one of six openly gay members of the state legislature. "But no right-wing base has ever elected a governor."
Schwarzenegger's spokeswoman defended the governor's position, saying he continues to back gay rights, including domestic partnership programs that grant same-sex couples most of the rights enjoyed by married couples. She noted that in 2000 California's voters expressed their views on the marriage issue, passing by more than 60 percent Proposition 22, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Schwarzenegger's move does not end California's fight over the bedroom -- it simply moves it back to the courthouse and potentially the ballot box.
Early last year, San Francisco officials declared that Proposition 22 violated the state's constitution and unilaterally issued marriage licenses to more than 4,000 gay couples. The state Supreme Court nullified those unions, citing the law. In March, a San Francisco judge hearing lawsuits from activists and city officials declared the law unconstitutional, setting the scene for a battle that will return to the state's highest court.
In addition, conservative activists are planning a proposition for a June 2006 election that would ban gay marriage. Another measure would severely curtail domestic partnership benefits.
A Field Poll released last week showed Californians to be split on the issue, with 46 percent opposing and 46 percent approving of same-sex marriages.
Special correspondent Joe Dignan in San Francisco contributed to this report.
San Francisco Chronicle
For lack of one leader -
Thursday, September 8, 2005
The California Legislature's passage of a landmark bill to authorize same-sex marriage was refreshingly free of the usual pressures that determine close votes in the Capitol. The decisive "yes" votes were not plied with promises or reminders of campaign contributions. Pollsters and focus groups were of little use. The lawmakers who were wavering on AB849, mostly from suburban and rural districts, were well aware of the risk of voting yes.
It was as personal as an issue gets in public policy. The undecideds consulted their families, their friends, their ministers. They drew on their life experience as they plumbed their souls for guidance. It was, more than anything, a vote of conscience. On Tuesday, 41 members of the Assembly approved the measure by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, less than a week after it squeaked through the Senate.
"I think you can look at those three (Assembly) members whose votes put us over the top," Leno said. "Clearly, none of those individuals voted for any political advantage. Quite the opposite."
Regrettably, the courage and leadership stopped there.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a two-paragraph statement Wednesday announcing that he would veto AB849.
Instead of equality, the statement from the governor's office offered gays and lesbians platitudes about how he regarded "no undertaking to be more noble than the cause of civil rights."
But Schwarzenegger said it would be wrong for legislators to defy the will of voters who passed Proposition 22, which limits the definition of marriage to a man and a woman. A legal challenge is working its way through the courts after a San Francisco judge ruled the ballot measure violates the "basic right to marry a person of one's choice."
The question should not be whether the public supports a marriage law that enshrines discrimination against gays and lesbians in myriad ways -- including the deprivation of about 1,000 federal rights and responsibilities. The question is whether the state's leaders have the fortitude to risk their standing for the cause of equality -- by challenging discrimination with all available political and legal tools.
Sixty-two legislators did.
History is on the side of leaders with the courage to resist the political calculation of the moment to challenge the status quo on behalf of civil rights.
Schwarzenegger just failed the test.
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A marriage of convenience
- Debra J. Saunders
Thursday, September 8, 2005
IN PASSING a law to legalize same-sex marriages, Democrats in the Legislature sent a clear message to California voters: You don't count. And I say that as someone who was in the minority in 2000. I voted against Proposition 22, an initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage, but 61 percent of state voters supported the measure.
On the one hand, it was courageous for Democrats -- only Dems, but not all Dems, voted for the same-sex marriage bill introduced by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco -- to ignore the will of the voters and vote their conscience. But the vote also was arrogant, because it flouted California law.
Bob Stern, an expert on the initiative process with the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles, noted that "California is the only state in the country that says a statutory initiative cannot be either amended or repealed by the Legislature without a vote of the people."
And it was reckless, too. GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promises to veto the bill. He has said he wants the courts or the voters to decide, not the legislators. He's wrong about the courts. If they should overrule Prop. 22 -- which is hardly a given -- then voters will see the move as more judicial arrogance.
It would have been "more appropriate" for Leno to have included a provision to bring the same-sex marriage issue before the voters, Stern said.
Then the governor would not be able to veto it. And the governor, who always would rather that voters settle issues, would have signed it.
What's more, AB849 is dishonest in that it pretends to exist outside of Proposition 22. Leno has long argued that Proposition 22 only addresses out-of-state marriages because the measure's authors inserted their language into Section 308.5 of the state's family law code, which addresses out-of-state marriages.
Baloney. And Leno knows that is not the way California voters saw it. Prop. 22 stated, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Voters didn't care which statute it amended; they wanted to send a clear message about their opposition to same-sex marriage.
Prop. 22 supporter Randy Thomasson scoffed at Leno's logic: 4.6 million Californians voted "to keep marriage between a man and a woman." Those folks weren't voting against out-of-state same-sex marriage.
I expect e-mail from gay couples who see this as strictly a civil-rights issue and want to see same-sex marriage legalized by any means available. Leno argued over the phone Wednesday, "I would never proactively put our civil rights on a ballot. That's why we have three branches of government." And no civil rights advocate would hand over such areas to "the tyranny of the majority."
Supporters of same-sex marriage should ask themselves if they want to win their cause without public support or -- even if it takes a little longer -- with public support.
Leno believes public opinion is changing rapidly, and cited a Public Policy Institute of California poll that shows 46 percent of likely California voters favoring same-sex marriage, with 46 percent of likely voters opposed. That gives Sacramento an added reason to ask the electorate to change its position on same-sex marriage rather than imposing a life-altering law by fiat.
As Karen Hanretty, spokeswoman for the California Republican Party, noted, same-sex marriages would alter the cultural face of the nation; the issue should not be decided "without a great deal of public debate" in the "dark of night."
If voters should approve same-sex marriage, the issue will be settled. If they do not, domestic-partner laws can fill some of the gap while advocates work to woo more votes.
For his part, Leno argues that his bill is democratic because voters, if outraged, will be free to oust lawmakers who supported his measure. Stern noted the courage of lawmakers like Assemblyman Tom Umberg, D-Santa Ana, whose more conservative Democratic district might not appreciate his yes vote. The worst of it is, Umberg's career might suffer for a bill that never had a chance from the get-go.
The Democratic leadership opted for an end-run around the voters. They could have pushed to put on the ballot an anti-Proposition 22 initiative. You have to figure they didn't want another initiative because it might fail; worse, it might hurt their bids for re-election.
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A day after Assembly’s OK, Schwarzenegger pledges to kill same-sex marriage bill
GOVERNOR'S STAND: Decision to honor Prop. 22 sure to please conservative core
- John Wildermuth, Lynda Gledhill, San Francisco Chronicle Political Writers
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Sacramento -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, under growing pressure from his conservative supporters, promised Wednesday to veto the gay-marriage bill passed less than a day earlier by the Democrat-led Legislature.
The Legislature's action trampled over Proposition 22, an initiative passed overwhelmingly in 2000 that banned same-sex marriage in California, said a spokeswoman for the governor.
"The governor believes the matter should be determined not by legislative action -- which would be unconstitutional -- but by a court decision or another vote of the people,'' said Margita Thompson, Schwarzenegger's press secretary. "We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails the vote. Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto AB849.''
Democrats said they weren't surprised by Schwarzenegger's announcement but were disappointed, especially by the speed of the decision.
"For a man who claims rather grandiosely to be 'following the will of the people' when he doesn't even allow the people to express his will to them as he does with every other bill is a deep disappointment to me," said state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica.
Condemnation from gay and lesbian rights activists was swift.
"Who's the girly man now?" said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "... Real courage and real leadership and real strength and real protection of those who are marginalized by the law should have come at hands of a governor who prides himself in his strength of leadership and his boldness."
While Schwarzenegger had hinted he would veto the bill, Wednesday's abrupt early evening announcement came as a surprise. "I'm not going to talk about that at all today,'' the governor said when he was asked about a possible veto at a morning meeting with Salvation Army volunteers in Sacramento.
At the same Sacramento stop, Thompson told reporters there was no hurry to make a decision on the bill. It would be handled the same as any other bill sent to the governor, she added.
But outside the Salvation Army warehouse, Randy Thomasson of the Campaign for Children and Families talked about how important the bill was to the conservatives who recent polls show have become Schwarzenegger's strongest supporters.
"If the governor is going to keep his word and be the people's governor, he has to veto AB849,'' he said.
Schwarzenegger needs something to fire up his supporters heading into the Nov. 8 special election. With both his "Live Within Our Means" budget initiative and reapportionment revamp slipping in the polls, the governor can't afford to have any Republicans stay away on election day.
Conservative leaders such as Traditional Values Coalition lobbyist Benjamin Lopez already have suggested that if Schwarzenegger didn't veto the same-sex marriage bill, "many conservatives will stay home in protest."
By quickly promising the veto and accusing the Legislature of ignoring the wishes of Californians, Schwarzenegger could quickly find himself with plenty of supporters. While a Field Poll last week put the governor's approval rating at a record low of 36 percent, California voters were even less enamored with the Legislature, knocking its rating down to 27 percent.
"The governor can point out that he's the one person in Sacramento who's responding to what people said they wanted in a statewide election,'' said Kevin Spillane, a GOP consultant. "He can also talk about how the Legislature is more interested in same-sex marriage and driver's licenses for illegal aliens than it is in the meat-and-potato issues that affect the life of each and every Californian.''
It's a stand that could play well not only with Republicans but also with moderate Democrats and independents still unhappy at the idea of same-sex marriage and now angry that the Legislature has pushed aside their vote.
But Democrats are warning the governor that five years have made a big difference in the way Californians view same-sex marriage.
Two months before voters passed Prop. 22, a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that likely voters favored a ban on same-sex marriage by 57 to 38 percent. In a poll taken last month by the same group, likely voters were split evenly on the question, 46 to 46 percent, although nearly 70 percent of Republican voters continued to disapprove.
"The issue has become more partisan, but that's a pretty major shift in public opinion,'' said Mark Baldassare, the poll's director. "If it came to a vote today, it could be a very close election.''
Schwarzenegger can win back moderates because "it's a chance for him to make history and stand up for equality,'' said Gloria Nieto, a member of the Democratic National Committee's gay and lesbian caucus and executive director of the Lyon-Martin Women's Health clinic in San Francisco.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said he wasn't surprised at Schwarzenegger's announcement, but he said the governor had missed a "rare and unique" chance.
"He missed a golden opportunity to stand on history and do what is noble and right," he said.
Democrats pledged to continue battling until Schwarzenegger actually signed the veto message.
Kuehl said supporters, including those in Hollywood, would continue to put pressure on the governor.
"There will be people he calls his friends who will call and try to influence him," she said. "A lot of people in the industry know this is the right thing to do and understand there is no reason loving couples shouldn't be able to be married in the state."
Regardless of what happens now, the fight for same-sex marriage is not over, added Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the author of AB849.
"The more the public becomes familiar with the issue, they move in our direction," he said.
Chronicle staff writers Carla Marinucci, Patrick Hoge and Wyatt Buchanan contributed to this report. E-mail the writers at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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A day after Assembly’s OK, Schwarzenegger pledges to kill same-sex marriage bill
GAY MARRIAGE: Despite impending veto, it's been momentous year in struggle for rights
- Wyatt Buchanan, SF Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's announcement Wednesday that he will veto the Legislature's historic same-sex marriage bill caps a momentous year in gay and lesbian rights.
Yet the year has been decidedly mixed.
California Supreme Court decisions supported the rights of gay domestic partners, two foreign countries approved same-sex marriage, state legislatures across the United States passed civil union and nondiscrimination laws, and state and federal courts recognized a variety of gay rights. A survey two weeks ago found California voters evenly split on same-sex marriage for the first time in history -- 46 percent each way -- according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
"There has been some definite shifting of ground on this issue," said Mark Baldassare, director of research for the institute. In 2000, three months before 62 percent of California voters approved limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples with Proposition 22, the same survey found 55 percent of Californians opposed to same-sex marriage.
But Schwarzenegger had for days been signaling his ambivalence on the gay marriage bill. Earlier Wednesday, he also vetoed a bill that would have prohibited political candidates who agree to follow the state's Code of Fair Campaign Practices from using antigay messages in their campaigns.
And last November, 11 states passed constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Activists now have targeted California, Texas and Florida with similar ballot measures. The two initiatives heading for California's June 2006 ballot would strip from state law any recognition for personal relationships other than heterosexual marriage.
This summer's gay rights milestones included these:
June 30: Spain's parliament legalized same-sex marriage in the face of huge protests in the streets of Madrid organized by the Roman Catholic Church, making Spain the third country to give gays and lesbians that right, following Belgium and the Netherlands.
July 4: Four-fifths of delegates to the United Church of Christ national conference voted to recognize same-sex marriage; it was the first major Christian denomination to do so.
July 20: Canada's parliament legalized same-sex marriage.
July 29: The California Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the state's domestic partnership law, which in January gave registered same-sex couples many of the rights of married couples.
Aug. 22: The California Supreme Court ruled in three cases that gays and lesbians who are nonbiological parents have the same custody and child-support rights as nonbiological heterosexuals. On Aug. 2, the court had ruled that businesses must treat registered domestic partners like married couples.
"We are seeing a very intense period of time when gay and lesbian issues are being talked about and thought about greatly," said Seth Kilbourn, who is directing the Marriage Project for the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., the nation's largest gay rights organization.
Kilbourn said he had seen the tide turn in 2003, when the Canadian province of Ontario legalized same-sex marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned anti-sodomy laws nationwide, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting same-sex marriage violated the state's constitution.
He also hailed the Illinois Legislature's passage in January of a workplace nondiscrimination law regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, the Connecticut Legislature's approval in April of a civil union law that goes into effect next month and a federal court ruling in May overturning Nebraska's voter-approved constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
In California, two other gay rights measures passed through the statehouse this session without an outcry. One, which remains on the governor's desk, would bar businesses from discriminating against same-sex couples. The other, a resolution, urges the federal government to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
And a bill that would protect pension benefits for same-sex partners awaits a vote from the state Senate this week.
"This will be the most successful session we've ever had in the Legislature," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California.
On the horizon, Washington state's Supreme Court is to rule within weeks on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. And San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer's ruling calling opposite-sex-only marriage unconstitutional is still being appealed.
E-mail Wyatt Buchanan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Governor 'stabbed us in the back'
- Wyatt Buchanan
Thursday, September 8, 2005 - San Francisco Chronicle
Same-sex marriage supporters gathered Wednesday evening at the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Ceremony for a celebration of the state Assembly's approval Tuesday of the gay marriage bill.
But just as they were about to pop the champagne corks and slice a two-tiered wedding cake, word spread about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's planned veto, and the event turned into a protest rally.
"This guy ran as someone who was a different and fair politician, and he stabbed us in the back," said Thom Lynch, executive director of the center, who was unloading a crate of champagne when he heard of Schwarzenegger's veto decision.
The crowd of about 50 quickly made signs and marched along Market Street to Harvey Milk Plaza at Castro Street, chanting "Shame on Arnold."
"I'm disappointed that for even one day we were not able to celebrate this achievement," San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty told the crowd.
"It's like my marriage has been taken away. That's happened twice now," said Stuart Gaffney, who married his partner of 18 years, John Lewis, in San Francisco in February 2004. Gaffney and Lewis, among about 4,000 couples married that winter, wore tuxedos and carried an unopened bottle of champagne during Wednesday's march.
"We can't open it today," Lewis said. "The governor really let us down today."
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Governor's hands were tied in gay marriage veto
NEWS ANALYSIS: Opponents of bill say it contradicts ballot measure passed in 2000
- Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision Wednesday to veto a historic same-sex marriage bill was based on the plain language of a ballot measure that Californians passed 5 1/2 years ago.
Proposition 22, approved by 61 percent of the voters in March 2000, declared, in full: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.'' Because it was passed by initiative, it can't be amended without another public vote, under state constitutional rules that protect the public's right to make laws at the ballot box.
In announcing his planned veto through a spokeswoman, Schwarzenegger said any attempt by the Legislature to legalize same-sex marriage would conflict with Prop. 22.
Prop. 22 and a 1977 legislative measure, which first defined marriage in California as the union of a man and a woman, are being challenged in lawsuits by same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco. Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer ruled in March that the marriage restriction constituted sex discrimination and violated the fundamental right to marry the partner of one's choice, but Kramer put his ruling on hold while it is appealed.
Meanwhile, Prop. 22 remains in effect, along with the 1977 marriage law that it reinforced.
The conservative groups that sponsored the ballot measure say its meaning is clear: California cannot recognize any same-sex marriage, no matter where it was performed. But gay-rights groups argue that the circumstances that led to the passage of Prop. 22 support a narrower interpretation, which would only prohibit recognition in California of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
Under the first interpretation, Prop. 22 would conflict with, and therefore override, AB849, the bill Schwarzenegger says he plans to veto. Written by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, AB849 would make the definition of marriage gender-neutral in California -- the first such measure ever passed by a state Legislature.
Under the second, narrower interpretation, no conflict would exist.
Advocates of a narrow interpretation note that Prop. 22 was prompted by court rulings in Hawaii and Vermont that overturned those states' bans on same-sex marriage -- an indication that the measure was intended to shield California from unions declared legal elsewhere. The ballot arguments for Prop. 22 contain language supporting that interpretation. For example, proponents stated that unless the measure passed, "legal loopholes could force California to recognize 'same-sex marriages' performed in other states.''
"They repeatedly said (during the campaign) this dealt with the problem of out-of-state judges defining marriage and California having to go along,'' said Geoff Kors, executive director of the gay rights group Equality California. He also said Prop. 22 had been drafted to be placed in a section of California's family law that addresses recognition of out-of-state marriages and not in the section that defines marriage.
Backers of Prop. 22 counter that the language of the ballot measure does not distinguish between in-state and out-of-state marriages. They also say that limiting the measure to a ban on out-of-state marriages defies common sense.
"It would make no sense that the voters intended to prevent recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages but leave the door wide open to them being created here,'' said Andrew Pugno, attorney for the Prop. 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund. Pugno said he had drafted the ballot measure for the late Sen. Pete Knight.
California courts have not yet defined Prop. 22 conclusively. But the state appeals court that has most explicitly interpreted the measure agreed with its sponsors -- and with Schwarzenegger -- that it would bar any legislative attempt to legalize same-sex marriage.
In a ruling in April that upheld new rights for domestic partners in California, the Court of Appeal in Sacramento said Prop. 22 "ensures ... that California will not permit same-sex partners to validly marry within the state.'' Unless the issue is submitted to the voters, the court added, "the Legislature cannot change this absolute refusal to recognize marriages between persons of the same sex.''
Backers of Leno's bill point to a statement by another state appeals court that Prop. 22 was designed to prevent same-sex couples who had been legally married in other states or countries from seeking recognition of their marriages in California. That ruling, however, did not specify that the effect of Prop. 22 was limited to out-of-state marriages.
The debate was settled, at least for now, when Schwarzenegger announced that he will veto the bill. In a statement by spokeswoman Margita Thompson, the governor sided with Prop. 22 backers who contended Leno's bill conflicts with the voter-approved measure.
"We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote,'' Thompson said.
E-mail Bob Egelko at email@example.com.
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'Tough call' for lawmakers could mean political fallout
- By KATHLEEN HENNESSEY, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, September 8, 2005
(09-08) 00:54 PDT SACRAMENTO, (AP) --
For Assemblyman Simon Salinas — a moderate, middle-ground hugging Democrat — deciding how to vote on the gay marriage bill was a stark proposition.
"On the one hand, the people have voted for Prop. 22; they've said that marriage is between a man and a woman," Salinas, who is considering a run for higher office, said Wednesday. "On the other, I've always been a strong supporter of civil rights. Sometimes you just have to make unpopular decision. I just figured it was time."
Salinas, from the Monterey County town of the same name, was one of three lawmakers who tipped the vote in favor of the measure Tuesday, making the California Legislature the first in the nation to pass a bill allowing same-sex marriages.
Along with Assemblyman Tom Umberg and Assemblywoman Gloria Negrete McLeod, Salinas abstained from voting on the issue the first time the Assembly took it up in June. Two months later, each of the lawmakers described their switch to 'aye' votes as decisions of conscience made under the weight of intense political pressure.
All three are facing the end of their Assembly terms and are looking to run for the state Senate. Each will need the votes of Hispanics and blacks, Democratic constituencies more likely to oppose gay marriage than other Democrats.
"They were courageous to vote the way they did," said Allan Hoffenblum, a Republican political consultant. "They did in fact cast a vote that is contrary to the opinion of a large number of voters in their party."
Umberg, D-Anaheim, is running for Senate in Orange County and said he came to his decision after being turned off by the overblown rhetoric on both sides.
A Catholic, Umberg said he felt pressure from his church and was urged by Orange County Auxiliary Bishop Jaime Soto to oppose the bill.
"He said that the majority of my constituents do not support gay marriage, and he hoped that I would not succumb to the more extreme elements who were supporting the bill," Umberg said.
"Both sides threatened to mobilize voters against me. The threats really had the opposite effect."
In the end, it was his 22-year-old daughter, a senior at Stanford, who made the most persuasive argument.
"She told me to think of what it meant in terms of history," he said. "It was a personal decision."
The reaction to his vote was immediate. A longtime detractor and school board member in Santa Ana called his office and threatened to run against him. His office received a barrage of calls and e-mails from opponents of same-sex marriage and many form letters circulated by conservative groups.
"There will be fallout," said Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute, a Sacramento-based group that lobbied against the bill. "I think there's going to be a lot of fallout, and not just for the few that were considering voting against it, but for the others, as well. People are furious."
Hoffenblum said the real threat for the three swing lawmakers comes from within their own party.
"The main concern for them is, 'Does this create a single-issue voter that wasn't there before, someone (a Democratic voter) that will cross over and vote Republican based on this issue," he said. "I'm not 100 percent sure it will."
Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, said she made her decision based on her personal belief in equality and the bill's effect on gay family members.
She said she's hoping that voters who disagree with her decision will consider more than her vote Tuesday night.
"It's the soup du jour, the issue du jour and people get hung up on one issue," she said. "Well, I have five years of record here. They have to look at the broader spectrum of what you do."
Negrete McLeod will face Assemblyman Joe Baca, D-Rialto, in the primary race for the 32nd-district Senate seat. Baca voted against the gay marriage bill in June and abstained Tuesday.
Salinas is weighing a challenge to Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Salinas.
Denham campaign consultant Steve Presson said he has no doubt Salinas' vote will become an issue in the campaign.
"I think there are certain votes that telegraph really clearly where you are philosophically," he said. "This is a vote that indicates that Simon Salinas will be a very liberal politician who is out of step with the voters in the district."
Like Negrete McLeod, Salinas said he, too, hopes voters will look at his entire record. "People have a sense of who I am, and at some point I have to make the tough calls," he said.
Schwarzenegger to veto gay marriage bill
Wed Sep 7, 2005 11:04 PM ET
By Jim Christie
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Wednesday he will veto a bill to allow gay marriage in the state and said the issue should be decided by the courts or by voters directly but not by the Democrat-controlled legislature.
A veto had been widely expected after California's Assembly on Tuesday endorsed gay marriage, the first time a state legislature had taken such a step. California's Senate passed the bill last week.
Schwarzenegger's press secretary, Margita Thompson, said the governor "believes that gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationship."
But since California voters approved a ballot measure five years ago defining marriage as between a man and a woman, the question of gay marriage should be put to voters again in a referendum or decided by courts, she said.
"We cannot have a system where the people vote and the legislature derails that vote," Thompson said.
Gay marriage is under review in California courts following San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's decision in 2004 to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples -- a move that set off a national debate.
California's Supreme Court has invalidated the San Francisco licenses, but left the wider issue of whether the ban on gay marriage is constitutional to lower courts.
Democrats admit the gay marriage bill was largely a symbolic gesture and had said they did not expect support from Schwarzenegger, a moderate Republican grappling with declining voter support.
"It certainly seems like he wants the courts to make the decision for him, but we truly feel like we did the right thing," said Richard Stapler, an aide to Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.
Republican media consultant Wayne Johnson said it was inconceivable Schwarzenegger would have signed the bill because his approval ratings have slumped, leaving him with only Republican support. "The people who are his strongest supporters are among the least likely to support this bill," said Johnson.
Schwarzenegger faces an uphill struggle to convince voters to back ballot measures in an unpopular special November election he has called.
A Field Poll released on Wednesday found 56 percent of California voters are not inclined to support Schwarzenegger if he seeks re-election.
But voters hold the state legislature in even lower regard, one analyst said, allowing Schwarzenegger the opportunity to cast his veto of the gay marriage bill as a defense of existing state law.
"He can wrap himself in the rule of law and say, 'The people have spoken,"' said Tony Quinn, co-editor of the California Target Book, which tracks state political races. "This is probably one issue in which Schwarzenegger is probably a winner at a time when he has very few issues going his way."
Posted on Wed, Sep. 07, 2005
Governor vows to veto gay marriage bill
By San Jose Mercury News Sacramento Bureau
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said this afternoon that he will veto the same-sex marriage bill passed by the California Legislature.
His press secretary, Margita Thompson, issued the following statement at just before 5:30 p.m.:
``In Governor Schwarzenegger's personal life and work in public service, he has considered no undertaking to be more noble than the cause of civil rights. He believes that gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationship. He is proud that California provides the most rigorous protections in the nation for domestic partners.
``Five years ago the matter of same-sex marriage was placed before the people of California. The people voted and the issue is now before the courts.
``The Governor believes the matter should be determined not by legislative action -- which would be unconstitutional -- but by court decision or another vote of the people of our state. We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote. Out of respect for the will of the people, the Governor will veto AB 849.''
The Assembly's 41-35 vote -- the one-vote majority needed to pass the bill -- forced 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 have rewritten the state's definition of marriage as between ``two persons,'' instead of as a union between ``a man and a woman.'' Schwarzenegger had 30 days to sign or veto the bill. If he had taken no action, the bill would have become law, and California would have become the second state behind Massachusetts to legally sanction same-sex marriage and the first to do so through legislation, not a court order.
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 suggested Schwarzenegger would be a tougher sell: ``He has been hard to pin down on this one.''
Indeed, the vote forced 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 had to veto the bill.
Others thought it wasn't a given Schwarzenegger would veto it. He has made contradictory remarks on the topic, they noted, 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 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, said after the vote. ``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.
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.
Schwarzenegger to veto same-sex marriage bill
Thursday, September 8, 2005 Posted: 0915 GMT
SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday he will veto a bill that would have made California the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through its elected lawmakers.
Schwarzenegger said the legislation, approved Tuesday by lawmakers, would conflict with the intent of voters when they approved an initiative five years ago. Proposition 22 was placed on the ballot to prevent California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries.
"We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote," the governor's press secretary, Margita Thompson, said in a statement. "Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto (the bill)."
Proposition 22 stated that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The bill to be vetoed by Schwarzenegger would have defined marriage as a civil contract between "two persons."
In Massachusetts, recognition of gay marriages came through a court ruling.
Massachusetts voters could get the chance to change that. A proposed 2008 ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage passed a key hurdle Wednesday when the state attorney general ruled it could be permitted if supporters gathered enough signatures. A separate proposal to ban gay marriage but create civil unions faces a vote in the Legislature next week. If approved, it would go on the ballot in 2006.
In California, gay rights advocates accused Schwarzenegger of betraying the bipartisan ideals that helped get him elected in the 2003 recall.
"Clearly he's pandering to an extreme right wing, which was not how he got elected," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, one of the bill's sponsors. "He got elected with record numbers of lesbian and gay voters who had not previously voted for a Republican, and he sold us out."
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said Schwarzenegger missed "a golden opportunity to stand on history and do something that was noble and appropriate."
Newsom, a Democrat, sanctioned same-sex marriages in the city in 2004, but the state Supreme Court later voided the unions.
"It disappoints me greatly, and it will disappoint literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans, not to mention millions of people across the country," Newsom said.
The governor has until Oct. 9 to issue the veto.
Despite his promise to do so, Schwarzenegger "believes gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationship," Thompson's statement said. "He is proud that California provides the most rigorous protections in the nation for domestic partners."
The Republican governor had indicated previously that he would veto the bill, saying the debate over same-sex marriage should be decided by voters or the courts.
A state appeals court is considering appeals of a lower court ruling earlier this year that overturned Proposition 22 and a 1978 law that first formally defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Meanwhile, opponents of same-sex marriages are planning ballot measures similar to that proposed in Massachusetts to ban gay marriage in the state Constitution.
Schwarzenegger's announcement dampened a celebratory mood among the bill's supporters, who only the night before cheered, hugged and kissed as the state Assembly narrowly sent the bill to the governor's desk.
Democratic Assemblyman Paul Koretz had called bans on gay marriage "the last frontier of bigotry and discrimination."
The bill passed the Legislature through the persistence of its author, Assemblyman Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat and one of six openly gay members in the California Legislature.
Leno's original bill failed in the Assembly by four votes in June, but he linked it to another bill in the Senate and it won approval last week. The Assembly passed it Tuesday by a bare majority, with the winning margin provided by four Democrats who didn't vote on the measure in June.
Leno said he requested a meeting with the governor Wednesday to argue his case but said Schwarzenegger's office did not respond.
"The Legislature has done the hard work of picking up the issue of the day, holding public hearings, having public debate and making a decision," Leno said. "(A veto) would be an enormous disregard for the deliberation of both houses and the millions of people who wish him to sign the bill."
The vote that sent the bill to the governor made the California Legislature the first legislative body in the country to approve of same-sex marriage. As in Massachusetts, civil unions in Vermont were granted through court rulings.
"I'm encouraged that the governor is going to stop the runaway Legislature, and he's going to represent the people," said Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute, a Sacramento group that lobbied against the bill.
"I think Assembly member Leno wanted to rally everyone on his side and he's done exactly the opposite. He's forced his agenda on the rest of us," she said. "But in California the votes of the people do matter."
Try again with rights bill
The Japan Times: Sept. 8, 2005
The government was to have submitted a human-rights protection bill during the most recent session of the Diet. Various reasons are cited for the bill's failure to reach the Diet floor, including government leaders' obsession with other hot-button issues such as postal-service reform. Still, legislation to protect victims against discrimination, cruel treatment and other human-rights violations remain a vital issue in Japan.
The bill faced strong criticism partly because it contained a controversial clause suggesting the need to control mass media activities. Although the "media clause" was to be frozen even if the bill became law, the fear persists that the clause could be "defrosted" in the future and used to apply pressure on reporters and editors, thus infringing on freedom of the press.
The planned bill also provided for establishing a special commission to protect human rights as an extra-ministerial body under the Justice Ministry. Members would be appointed by the prime minister with Diet approval. This raised an important question: Since human-rights violations have often been reported in prisons and detention centers for immigration law violators, which are operated under the authority of the ministry, could such a commission function objectively?
The bill failed to reach the Diet floor not because the government consumed too much time considering the bill's flaws but because the ruling Liberal Democratic Party was divided over sensitive questions such as how to define the "violations" proscribed by the bill.
The government should now draft an improved bill that will be more conducive to protecting human rights. The "media clause" should be deleted, and the commission should be established in a manner ensuring that it remains free from influence by any government ministry or agency.
The bill, a response to a 1998 call by the U.N. committee for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is intended to protect people's rights. The "media clause" was inserted in view of the mass media's overheated coverage of sensational crimes -- in which reporters have not paid enough attention to the feelings and privacy rights of the people involved. The media must strive to avoid excessively heated news coverage, as often happens in reporting sensational crimes. In fact, the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association, in 2001, set down guidelines on this matter and, in 2002, set up a committee to deal with it.
Under the clause, for example, reporters who frequently visit the homes or offices of politicians or bureaucrats in connection with an investigation of corruption could be charged with engaging in illegal activities that constitute a human-rights violation.
This clause is problematic, for example, if the investigation that led to the disclosure of the scandal involving the Japan Dental Association is considered. The Japan Dental Political Federation, a JDA political arm, had made a suspicious contribution of 100 million yen to the Hashimoto faction of the LDP, the largest faction within the party. Former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was found to have received the 100 million yen check and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kenzo Muraoka was indicted.
If the "media clause" is put into effect, it could have the effect of restraining the efforts of reporters and editors, thus leading to a restriction of people's right to know.
The confusion about the bill within the LDP centered on two points: One was the fear that the definition of human-rights violations in the bill was so vague that its practical interpretation could become too broad. Further detailed discussion of examples are needed on this point. The second point was the complaint that the bill did not restrict the nationality of people serving as human-rights protection commissioners in local communities. Some LDP members argued that people of some nationalities, as well as those close to particular organizations such as the North Korea-affiliated General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun), might act to promote parochial interests if they became local commissioners.
For people to become local commissioners, though, they would need recommendations from the mayors of municipalities; moreover, their activities would be supervised by the central human-rights protection commission. The Justice Ministry says that, due to this mechanism, it is unlikely that foreign nationals would fill the seats of commissioners in a municipality. This sort of worry is understandable, but unacceptable.
The bill apparently put too much priority on tightening the grip of law and order. It contained clauses whose application appears likely to kill one bird in order to save another. The thinking of "media clause" proponents is a typical example. The government must not lose sight of the big picture.
Citing Prop. 22, Gov. Rejects Gay Marriage Bill
By Michael Finnegan and Maura Dolan
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
September 8, 2005
A day after California's Legislature became the first in the nation to pass a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced through an aide Wednesday that he would veto the measure "out of respect for the will of the people."
In a careful statement, Schwarzenegger press secretary Margita Thompson invoked the voter approval in March 2000 of Proposition 22, which said: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
"The governor believes the matter should be determined not by legislative action — which would be unconstitutional — but by court decision or another vote of the people of our state," the statement said. "We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote."
The statement also said Schwarzenegger "believes that gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against." It did not offer his opinion on same-sex marriage, but when asked about it last year, the governor said, "I don't care one way or the other."
The California Supreme Court is likely to decide next year whether Proposition 22 and other state laws that define marriage are constitutional.
The issue burst into prominence in California last year when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom directed officials there to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The move drew thousands of couples to the city for highly publicized weddings before the state Supreme Court ruled that Newsom had exceeded his authority. Massachusetts allows same-sex marriages, but they derived from court order, not the legislative approval seen in Sacramento on Tuesday.
In addition to the likely court ruling on same-sex marriage, the issue may be headed back to the ballot: Opponents of gay marriage have been collecting signatures to qualify measures for the June 2006 vote that would ban same-sex marriage.
Schwarzenegger's announcement sparked fierce reactions from advocates on both sides of the issue.
"The only reason that he could be doing this is that he is pandering to the far right," said Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), the measure's author.
Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute, a Sacramento group that opposed the bill, said the governor had "kept his word against the runaway Legislature…. As a social conservative, I never thought I'd see the day when I said I was glad Arnold Schwarzenegger was the governor."
Although 61% of California voters backed Proposition 22, recent polls have found views changing, with the state's voters now evenly split on same-sex marriage. That voter ambivalence has made the issue increasingly perilous for California politicians — and above all for Schwarzenegger as he gears up for a contentious fall campaign on his latest ballot measures and a probable 2006 reelection bid.
Already hamstrung by dismal popularity ratings, the Republican governor had little choice but to veto the legislation, analysts said. Approval of the measure would have set off a sharp backlash among Republican voters, his strongest remaining bulwark of support.
But while averting a conservative revolt, Schwarzenegger may have worsened a key political problem: erosion of his image as an independent reformer who stays above partisan politics.
"It will help to define him as just another Republican, and that's not good for him in this state," said Gary Jacobson, a political science professor at UC San Diego, alluding to California's strong Democratic tilt.
For some Democrats, too, the Assembly's final passage of the measure Tuesday brought risks, as the tight vote underscored. The measure passed with the minimum of 41 votes — all from Democrats — out of 80 members.
Particularly among Democrats seeking statewide office, support for same-sex marriage risks galvanizing conservative opponents and jeopardizing appeals to some of the centrist voters who dominate California elections. Opposition could alienate gay and lesbian activists and key Democratic liberals.
The issue has been potent. In 11 states last year, Republicans used initiatives to ban same-sex marriage to boost conservative turnout for President Bush in his race against Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry.
"In states that Kerry had to be competitive in, he was less competitive because gay marriage was on the ballot — starting with Ohio," said Tony Quinn, co-editor of the California Target Book election guide.
He likened the Legislature's passage of the same-sex marriage bill to its approval in 2003 of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. For voters, that move captured the Legislature's leanings — more liberal than the statewide electorate, which booted Gov. Gray Davis from office, at least in part because of his approval of the measure.
When Newsom brought the issue front and center last year, Democratic leaders were split. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the state's senior senator, said the matter was "too much, too fast, too soon." Sen. Barbara Boxer — then running for a third term — left her position vague, saying same-sex marriage should be left up to the states.
The party dynamics now, however, are far different. The top Democrats in the gubernatorial primary next June — state Controller Steve Westly and Treasurer Phil Angelides, neither particularly well known across the state — are competing for liberal support. Both said Wednesday that they would have signed the marriage bill.
"Signing this bill would have moved California forward on the right side of history," Angelides said. Westly said the issue was "solely about respect and equality — nothing else."
As much as it affects the race for governor, however, the same-sex marriage issue could also affect a matter before voters in November: Proposition 77, which would strip lawmakers of their power to draw district maps. Some campaign strategists said lawmakers' approval of same-sex marriage could buttress the case that the safe seats they drew for themselves have filled the Legislature with ideologues who can ignore the popular will.
There is a clear ideological cant to the issue, according to a poll last month by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.
Overall, it found that 46% of those likely to vote in November favor legalizing same-sex marriage, and 46% oppose it. While 56% of both Democrats and independents favored same-sex marriage, 68% of Republicans opposed it.
Mark Baldassare, research director at the institute, said Republican opposition to gay marriage has remained steadfast over the last five years. But the spate of gay weddings in San Francisco, along with the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada, Spain and other countries, appears to have weakened opposition among Democrats and independents, he said.
Baldassare, and Democratic analysts, believe that as a result, same-sex marriage has joined the list of social issues such as abortion and gun control that California voters weigh to take the conservative measure of a Republican running for statewide office. Republicans who take conservative stands on such issues tend to win party primaries in the state but run into trouble in general elections.
Yet given Schwarzenegger's unpopularity — a Field Poll released this week found 56% of voters not inclined to back him for reelection — he was all but forced to veto the same-sex marriage bill. The survey found that 70% of Republicans were inclined to support him.
"He is in a world of hurt, and he needs to find some friends somewhere," said Democratic strategist Roy Behr. "The only people left supporting him right now are the most conservative people in the state."
Still, the enduring split among voters on gay marriage was apparent in interviews around the state Wednesday.
"We already voted against gay marriage in this state, and it just keeps coming back," said Marnie Bishop, 34, a Republican homemaker in the Central Valley town of Ripon.
In San Francisco, Armelle Cloche likened the Legislature's approval of same-sex marriage to historic civil rights breakthroughs.
"You should be allowed to marry who you want," she said. "It's not something that hurts anyone else."
Times staff writers Eric Bailey, Maria L. La Ganga, Richard Marosi, Monte Morin, David Reyes, Lee Romney and Robert Salladay contributed to this report.
The Los Angeles Times
Marriage for all
September 8, 2005
CALIFORNIANS CAN TAKE PRIDE in the fact that their Legislature is the first in the nation to pass a law expanding the right to marry to gay couples. It's in keeping with the state's progressive heritage, and the American West's respect for individual freedom, to take government out of the business of passing judgment on the lifestyle choices of its citizens. If the state of California, as opposed to a church, is going to award licenses to couples who make a commitment to each other, it should do so on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Alas, Californians' pride will be fleeting because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday afternoon that he will veto the bill. The governor is disingenuously claiming that the Legislature has overturned the intent of voters who, in 2000, passed Proposition 22. That measure had to do with recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. Schwarzenegger has also indicated that this is an issue best left to voters and the courts, not mere lawmakers. Does he not believe in the American system of representative democracy?
Among opponents of gay marriage, there are two basic strains of argument: Some people don't like gays, and some don't like gay marriage. The argument against gays is best exemplified by Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy (R-Monrovia), who told the Washington Post that gays do not deserve the right to marry because "they are not normal." Reduced to its essence, this is a rationale for bigotry.
To his credit, Schwarzenegger rejects this reasoning. Instead, he favors a more respectable but less coherent argument: Gay marriage has been foisted on an unsuspecting public by a) liberal activist judges; b) liberal activist lawmakers; c) liberal activists. When given the opportunity, as they were in California in 2000 and in 11 other states in 2004, voters opposed state-sanctioned gay marriage. Even if they favor gay marriage personally — as Schwarzenegger is said to — politicians are wrong, so goes the theory, to get too far ahead of public opinion.
The notion that gay marriage is being foisted on anyone is dubious; until early Wednesday morning, in fact, opponents were fond of pointing out that no legislature had ever approved same-sex marriage. California has now taken that argument away from them, and so they are reduced, like the governor himself, to demanding the intervention of those same courts that just a few days ago were supposedly stacked with liberal activists.
In reality, no one branch of government has "final say" on an issue. Legal decisions can be overruled (or rendered meaningless, in some cases, by a new law). Laws can be vetoed or declared unconstitutional. Vetoes can be overridden. Even the majority, as the founders recognized, must be prevented from tyrannizing the minority; just because most voters agree on something doesn't mean it's right.
Which brings us back to the role of judges in resolving this debate. Separate from the Legislature's move this week, California courts are considering challenges under the equal protection clause of the state constitution to any ban on same-sex marriage. So Schwarzenegger will get his forum, though probably not the outcome he wants. The outcome here is inevitable; it's only a question of timing.
And once the highest court does order the state to stop discriminating, it will be harder for critics to complain about activist judges getting ahead of the political process. In this case, judges will be reaffirming the Legislature's intent.
半数はＨＩＶ感染者不可 ホスピスの全国調査 (共同 2005/09/08)
Hospices cool to cancer patients with HIV: poll
The Japan Times: Sept. 9, 2005
Almost half of the nation's hospices are reluctant to accept terminal-stage cancer patients with HIV, due to lack of experience or facilities to treat them, a survey showed Thursday.
The survey was conducted in January and February by Hideaki Nagai, head of the terminal-care department at the National Hospital Organization's Tokyo hospital.
Of the 139 terminal-care facilities across Japan, 98 responded to the survey. The results were presented at a meeting of the Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine in July.
Of the 98 hospices, 47 said they can accept HIV-positive cancer patients who have less than six months to live, while 43 said it was difficult. The remaining eight did not respond.
Seventeen hospices said they had received requests to accept such patients, but only five said they did.
The 12 facilities that rejected the requests cited lack of experience with HIV-positive patients.
The lives of HIV/AIDS patients can be prolonged if they receive treatment at an early stage, but most of those in Japanese hospices also have cancer.
Only 17 of the responding hospices said they had established standards for accepting patients with HIV. Forty said they would consider the matter in the future, and the rest expressed reluctance, citing reasons such as "We specialize in cancer."
"HIV infection is spreading, and thus demand for hospitalization will most likely increase," Nagai said. "It's necessary to eliminate concern over treating people with HIV through such means as training staff, and establish a system for them to receive palliative care anywhere in Japan." Nagai said.
There are more than 10,000 reported cases of people with AIDS or HIV in Japan, according to government statistics. The survey indicates that while there has been progress in medical treatment to prevent or stall the development of full-blown AIDS, Japanese society still lacks a system where such patients can spend their last days peacefully.
Katsumi Ohira, head of a group that supports people who contracted HIV through tainted blood products, said discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients was still rife in the medical community.
"There are not enough hospitals where such patients can receive long-term care, or hospices where they can wait for the end in peace," Ohira said.
upper part of San Francisco Chronicle's front page (2005/09/08)
同性婚の容認法案に拒否権発動へ＝シュワ加州知事 (時事 2005/09/08)
シュワ知事、同性婚法案拒否の意向 (共同 2005/09/08)
|| News ||
September 08, 2005
Gay rights advocates angrily denounce Schwarzenegger's decision
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced late Wednesday that he will veto a bill that would have made California the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through legislative action.
Schwarzenegger said that the legislation, given final approval Tuesday by state lawmakers, would conflict with the intent of voters when they approved a ballot initiative five years ago. Proposition 22 prevents California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries. "We cannot have a system where the people vote and the legislature derails that vote," the governor's press secretary, Margita Thompson, said in a statement. "Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto [the bill]."
Proposition 22 stated that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The bill to be vetoed by Schwarzenegger would have defined marriage as a civil contract between "two persons." In Massachusetts, same-sex marriages are recognized, but the state's stance came through a court ruling.
Gay rights advocates reacted harshly, accusing Schwarzenegger of betraying the bipartisan ideals that helped get him elected in the 2003 recall. "Clearly he's pandering to an extreme right wing, which was not how he got elected," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, one of the bill's sponsors. "He got elected with record numbers of lesbian and gay voters who had not previously voted for a Republican, and he sold us out."
Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said she was not surprised by word of Schwarzenegger's pending veto. "Any girlie man could have vetoed this legislation," she said, referring to a term Schwarzenegger used previously to mock Democratic legislators. "A real man demonstrating real leadership as governor of the most populous state in the nation would have chosen a different course of action."
Despite his promised veto, Schwarzenegger "believes gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationship," Thompson's statement said. "He is proud that California provides the most rigorous protections in the nation for domestic partners."
The Republican governor had indicated previously that he would veto the bill, saying the debate over same-sex marriage should be decided by voters or the courts. A state appeals court is weighing an appeal of a San Francisco judge's ruling striking down state laws banning same-sex marriages. Meanwhile, opponents of marriage eqaulity for gay and lesbian couples are planning measures on the ballot next year that would place a ban on same-sex marriages in the state constitution.
Schwarzenegger's announcement dampened a celebratory mood among the bill's supporters, who only the night before cheered, hugged, and kissed as the state assembly narrowly sent the bill to the governor's desk. Democratic assemblyman Paul Koretz had called bans on same-sex marriage "the last frontier of bigotry and discrimination."
The bill passed the legislature through the persistence of its main sponsor, Assemblyman Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat and one of six openly gay members in the California legislature. Leno's original bill failed in the assembly by four votes in June, but he then linked it to another bill in the senate, which voted to approve the measure last week.
The assembly passed the amended bill Tuesday by a bare majority, with the winning margin provided by four Democrats who did not vote on the measure in June.The vote made the California legislature the first legislative body in the country to approve same-sex marriage. As in Massachusetts, civil unions in Vermont were granted through court rulings.
"I'm encouraged that the governor is going to stop the runaway legislature, and he's going to represent the people," said Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute, a Sacramento group that lobbied against the bill. "I think assembly member Leno wanted to rally everyone on his side, and he's done exactly the opposite. He's forced his agenda on the rest of us,. But in California the votes of the people do matter." (AP)
Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 03:13 GMT 04:13 UK
California gay weddings face veto - BBC
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has confirmed he will veto a bill endorsing gay marriages.
State legislators voted on Tuesday to allow same-sex marriage in California, but the governor said the decision flew in the face of public opinion.
Five years ago Californians backed a proposition opposing the recognition of gay marriages in other states.
"We cannot have a system where the people vote and the legislature derails that vote," said the governor's office.
"Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto," said Mr Schwarzenegger's press secretary, Margita Thompson.
Proposition 22, approved in a public vote in 2000, stated that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised in California".
The bill approved by the California Assembly states that marriage is a civil contract between "two persons".
Gay rights activists accused the governor of playing to his Republican supporters, not the broad range of people who elected him to office.
"Clearly he's pandering to an extreme right wing, which was not how he got elected," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, one of the bill's sponsors.
"He sold us out."
More than 3,400 gay couples got married in California after the city's new mayor decided to defy state law and allow gay weddings in 2004.
But later in the year the state's Supreme Court ruled the mayor had exceeded his authority and nullified the unions.
In March this year a judge ruled that Californian state law had breached a constitutional right to equal treatment of all citizens, irrespective of sexuality.
The issue is now expected to go back to the Supreme Court.
Mr Schwarzenegger says he supports full legal protection for gay couples - but that the issue of gay marriage is best decided by the people or in the courts.
Sept. 7, 2005
Statement by Gubernatorial Press Secretary
From Times Wire Reports
Gubernatorial Press Secretary Margita Thompson today issued the following statement regarding AB 849:
"In Governor Schwarzenegger's personal life and work in public service, he has considered no undertaking to be more noble than the cause of civil rights. He believes that gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationship. He is proud that California provides the most rigorous protections in the nation for domestic partners.
"Five years ago the matter of same-sex marriage was placed before the people of California. The people voted and the issue is now before the courts. The Governor believes the matter should be determined not by legislative action — which would be unconstitutional — but by court decision or another vote of the people of our state. We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote. Out of respect for the will of the people, the Governor will veto AB 849."
AB 849 (PDF 168KB)
Governor vetoes anti-gay bashing measure
- By STEVE LAWRENCE, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
(09-07) 17:05 PDT SACRAMENTO, (AP) --
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have required candidates who sign a code of fair campaign practices to refrain from using negative references to a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
Assemblyman Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said his bill was needed to discourage political campaigns that create fear and intimidation and could lead to violence.
But Schwarzenegger said signing the campaign code is voluntary and that there would be no way to enforce the bill except through the ballot box.
"I trust the people to be the best judge of conduct of a campaign when they exercise their franchise to vote," he said in a veto message. "I am confident that they will reject candidates that use appeals to negative prejudices against any group of people."
Schwarzenegger also vetoed a bill by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach, that would have required the secretary of state's office to list on its Web site the candidates who have signed the code of fair campaign practice.
He cited the same reasons for vetoing that measure, which also would have required that the code be printed in the ballot pamphlet sent to voters.
Oropeza said the bill had the support of Secretary of State Bruce McPherson and other election officials.
"Why would California's top elected official want to limit voter access to key information about candidates for public office?" she asked.
Schwarzenegger also vetoed a bill by Assemblyman Joe Nation, D-San Rafael, that would require people who are paid to gather signatures to put measures on the ballot to wear badges saying they are being paid.
Nation said the bill would give people who are considering signing an initiative, referendum or recall petition "a realistic perspective concerning paid circulators and their ability to accurately represent specific issues to voters."
But Schwarzenegger said current law is sufficient. It requires that petitions contain a notice that the voter has a right to ask if the signature gatherer is getting paid.
The vetoes were announced late Tuesday night.
On the Net: Rad the bills, AB738 and AB866, at
Dour slogan best reflects 9-11 poll, activists say
The Japan Times: Sept. 8, 2005
Columnists and human rights activists have selected seven winning entries in a competition to find choice slogans that they reckon best characterize the public's view of Sunday's general election, contest organizers announced Wednesday.
The prizewinning slogans were selected by the panel from some 190 submissions from the public.
Winners included "Is Japan heading toward Wall Street, Iraq or New Orleans?" and "A mud-boat election."
Ritsuko Ito of Tokyo came up with "Is Japan heading toward Wall Street, Iraq or New Orleans?" She said Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's administration, with its insistence on postal reform, is only helping Wall Street, threatening peace by keeping troops in Iraq, and ultimately leading Japan to disaster -- thus the allusion to how by Hurricane Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Sex columnist Minori Kitahara chose Ito's slogan as her favorite, saying the Koizumi administration is creating a society that ignores the weak, just as in the hurricane-hit U.S. city.
"A mud-boat election," which was entered anonymously, apparently reflects concerns about Japan's future, implying the country is like a boat made of mud that will eventually sink.
Submissions were accepted between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5.