SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed another gay marriage bill Friday, saying voters and the state Supreme Court, not lawmakers, should decide the issue.
The Republican governor turned down a measure by Assemblyman Mark Leno that would have defined marriage as a union between two people, not just a man and a woman. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill from Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, in 2005 and has said he would veto all such bills.
The California Supreme Court is likely to rule next year on whether the state's voter-approved ban on gay marriage violates the constitution.
Schwarzenegger said in his veto message that Californians "should not be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation." He said he supports state laws that give domestic partners many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.
Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, a gay rights group, said the veto was "hypocrisy at its worst."
"We find it shocking for the governor to say he opposes discrimination based on sexual orientation and then veto a bill that would have ended discrimination based on sexual orientation," Kors said.
Shocking, perhaps, but not surprising. Not if you want to be Senator Schwarzenegger! From the "Open Letter to Arnold" I wrote LAST time he vetoed a Marriage Equality bill:
The elected representatives of the California electorate have passed this piece of legislation and if our voice as an electorate counts for anything then this bill deserves your signature. This legislation gives the equal protection guaranteed in the Constitution to gay and lesbian couples – citizens who seek only the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as their fellow straight Californians.
Had voters in the 1960’s been able to challenge the end of segregation through the initiative process is there any doubt that those in power would have voted to keep the status quo? Please be the governor who history remembers not as standing with Lester Maddox blocking the door to equal rights but with those throughout the proud history of this great country who risked much to open the door to all Americans.