Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, citing a ballot measure supporting traditional marriage, promised yesterday to veto the first state legislation approving same-sex marriage.

The Legislature’s action trampled over Proposition 22, an overwhelmingly popular 2000 initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California, said a spokeswoman for the governor.

“We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails the vote,” said Margita Thompson, Schwarzenegger’s press secretary. “Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto AB 849.”

While Schwarzenegger had hinted he would veto the same-sex marriage bill, last night’s abrupt early evening announcement came as a surprise.

“I’m not going to talk about that at all today,” the governor had said earlier in the day when he was asked about a possible veto at a morning meeting with Salvation Army volunteers.

At the same Sacramento stop, Thompson told reporters there was no hurry to make a decision on the bill because it had not even reached the governor’s desk. It would be handled the same as any other measure sent to the governor, she added.

Previous stories:

Same-sex marriage bill on Arnold’s desk

California Senate OKs same-sex marriage

California Dems endorse same-sex civil unions

Same-sex marriage bill advances in California

Federal Marriage Amendment dead?

How homosexual activists took America by surprise

California high court blocks S.F. ‘marriages’

Bush announces support for marriage amendment

Activists respond to Bush amendment stance

Marriage defenders slow same-sex tide

Mayor facing charges for same-sex weddings

Another city backs same-sex marriage

Arnold: Terminate same-sex marriage

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