For Immediate Release
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Makes Strong Case for Equality at Log Cabin Republicans Dinner in Los Angeles
(Los Angeles, CA) – An overflow crowd of over 375 people joined special guests Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver at an event to support the work of Log Cabin Republicans. In a rousing speech, Schwarzenegger declared that he was "committed to being a Governor for all Californians" and was "proud to stand side by side with Log Cabin in their work to offer basic fairness for gay and lesbian citizens." He went on to say, "A person should only be limited by his dreams and not by his background, and not by his heritage and not by his sexual orientation...We are united in the values of love, tolerance, and understanding?working together we can create a better future for California where everybody matters and every family counts."
Log Cabin endorsed and campaigned for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 recall election and continues to support his efforts to bring people together to build an even brighter future for the great state of California. "When he took the oath of office, Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would be governor of all the people-and he reinforced that inclusive message in his first-ever address to a gay and lesbian organization," added Guerriero.
"Governor Schwarzenegger has been reaching out to all Californians from all walks of life in every corner of the state. He has a record of supporting inclusive civil rights legislation and broadening the Republican big tent to include all Californians," continued Guerriero.
The event also recognized Marc Cherry, the Creator and Executive Producer of "Desperate Housewives." San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis presented Log Cabin's American Visibility Award to Cherry.
Log Cabin presented Schwarzenegger with its Ronald Reagan Award. This award recognizes those individuals who maintain a big tent philosophy by working for the inclusion of all Americans in the Republican Party. The award is named after former California Governor and President Ronald Reagan for his leadership in helping defeat the 1978 Briggs Initiative. This proposal would have barred openly gay and lesbian people from teaching in California public schools. Reagan's courageous opposition to this anti-gay initiative inspired the founding of Log Cabin Republicans in California 30 years ago. The evening also looked back at the 30 year history of Log Cabin.
Previous Log Cabin awards have been given to Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R-CT), Gov. William Weld (R-MA), Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R-NJ), California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. John Danforth (R-MO), Mayor Richard Riordan (R-L.A.), U.S. Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA), U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA), and U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), among many others.
Since taking office in 2003, Governor Schwarzenegger has signed over a dozen gay and lesbian supportive bills including expansion of domestic partnership rights, hate crimes protection, housing and employment non-discrimination laws, improving HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment strategies, and ending the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the state militia. The Governor has spoken out against the anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment and has been one of the nation's leading voices advocating for a "Big Tent" Republican Party.
Following passage of marriage equality legislation in 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger stated that he was awaiting a ruling by the California Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of any prohibition on the freedom to marry for all Californians regardless of sexual orientation. In his veto message, he also stated that, "I believe that lesbian and gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based on their relationships."
"This event also offered Log Cabin a chance to put a face on the thousands of life long, law abiding, tax paying gay and lesbian families who support full equality. The gathering also celebrated the bright and inclusive future of the Republican Party as embodied by the leadership of Governor Schwarzenegger," concluded Patrick Guerriero.