Fate of same-sex marriage bill lies with Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Family advocates condemned the California Assembly’s 41-35 approval yesterday of same-sex marriage as a brazen attempt to overturn the will of the people.
“We believe the governor should veto this bill, which slaps the face of voters who passed California’s Defense of Marriage Act, Proposition 22, in 2000,” said Glen Lavy, senior vice president
of the Alliance Defense Fund’s Marriage Litigation Center.
Proposition 22, passed with 62 percent approval, states: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
AB 849, approved last week by a 21-15 vote in the state Senate, deletes the phrase “a man and a woman” from California’s marriage laws and replaces it with “two persons.”
The bill now rests with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has the power to veto it.
Lavy warned, “If the governor signs this bill, we will immediately file suit. The Legislature cannot lawfully overturn a voter-approved initiative.”
In a statement released today, Schwarzenegger’s press secretary indicated the governor’s intention to reject the bill, stating, “The people spoke when they passed Proposition 22.”
The Campaign for Children and Families says Schwarzenegger can’t afford politically to sign the bill because 80 percent of Republican voters, his base for re-election, said yes to Proposition 22.
“He’ll actually become a hero to the majority of Californians when he vetoes it,” said the group’s president, Randy Thomasson.
Thomasson asserted the bill has moved this far because pastors either don’t know about the issue or don’t care.
The deciding vote in the state Assembly, where 41 votes is needed, he noted, was Democrat Simon Salinas of Monterey County, who hesitated for several seconds before approving the bill.
Thomasson believes that because Salinas wants to run for a Central Valley state Senate seat next year, he probably would have abstained if Modesto and Merced pastors, and therefore their congregations, “had been up in arms about AB 849 and besieged him with opposition calls and faxes.”
Karen England of the Sacramento-based Capitol Research Institute pointed out AB 849 was heard on the Assembly floor yesterday despite a commitment from leader Democrat Assemblyman Fabian Nunez of Los Angeles to hear it today.
“This maneuver is yet another example of how supporters of AB 849 have been disingenuous in their efforts to pass homosexual marriage from the very beginning,” she said.
Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, an outspoken homosexual, amended an unrelated marine research bill already in committee to sneak the bill through for a vote, opponents asserted.
The changes striking the marine research provisions and adding the same-sex “marriage” language can be seen here.
Yesterday, said England, was a “sad day for California families because the very foundation of the family is being redefined and destroyed.”
“The Legislature, by callously disregarding their constituents, are proving that they are more concerned about embracing a group of adults, identified only by their sexual behavior, than promoting healthy families for the sake of our children,” she said.
Meanwhile, the statewide VoteYesMarriage.com coalition, is intensifying its efforts to put a state constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot “to protect marriage rights for one man and one woman.”
“The Democrats in the Legislature have declared war on the 62 percent of Californians who voted to protect marriage in 2000,” said former Assemblyman Larry Bowler, an official proponent of the Voters’ Right to Protect Marriage Initiative.