Schwarzenegger Signs Gay Rights Bill
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
August 29, 2006
(Sacramento, California) California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation Tuesday banning discrimination in state operated or funded programs on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
The legislation is designed to protect from discrimination, Californians who utilize public services such as police and fire protection, financial aid, social services and food stamps.
The measure would also include protections for those associated with a person receiving services who has, or is perceived to have, any characteristic covered by the bill.
The legislation passed its final hurdle in the legislature earlier this month when the Assembly approved it on a 43-25 vote.
This bill will help to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians are treated equally by our government and is an important step towards our goal of ending discrimination in the Golden State," said Geoff Kors, the executive director of Equality California which lobbied for the measure's passage.
Schwarzenegger has still not indicated whether he will sign a revised LGBT education bill. The original wording of the bill would have mandated the teaching of LGBT history in schools. It passed the Senate but was weakened in the Assembly at the request of its author, Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles), after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger threatened to veto it.
The new version banning materials and activities in California schools that are discriminatory towards the state's LGBT community or portray gays in a negative light, passed the Assembly last week and must still receive approval in the Senate.
Conservative Christian groups are lobbying Schwarzenegger to veto the bill.
The Republican governor has had a mixed record on LGBT issues. He came to office promoting himself as a moderate, signing several LGBT rights bills, and angering conservatives. But he lost gay support last year he vetoed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state.