Kevin And Don Respond To Being Self Loathing
Looking back at their journey from the Stonewall Democratic Club to Log Cabin Republicans, they claim it was one that was actually started by the democrats. After being told that marriage as not a priority on the agenda in 1995, they became disillusioned with the DEMS. For a decade they felt like they did not belong until they met the republicans of the Log Cabin Republican Club and discovered they too shared a dream of marriage equality. This blog is now a digital time capsule of their time as Republicans and moderated by a friend and supporter.
Monday, September 17, 2007
'Will of people' likely Schwarzenegger mantra on same-sex marriage?
Monday, September 17, 2007
(09-17) 04:00 PDT Sacramento --
If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger goes through with his expected veto of San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno's measure to allow same-sex marriage in California, it's almost guaranteed the governor will say he's following "the will of the people."
That's the argument the Republican governor made two years ago when he rejected a similar measure. Although Schwarzenegger hasn't taken an official position on the new bill, he made clear in February that he did not intend to sign it.
"I don't want, as the governor, to go against the will of the people," Schwarzenegger said at an event put on by the YMCA, but added: "If it goes back on the ballot, the people can make the decision."
The Legislature approved the bill Sept. 7, and the governor has until Oct. 14 to sign or veto the measure.
Foes of same-sex marriage argue, along with Schwarzenegger, that California voters made their decision in March 2000, when Proposition 22, the protection of marriage initiative, was approved by a landslide 61 to 39 percent. The 14-word measure, which conservative and religious groups placed on the ballot, said simply, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
But times have changed in seven years, say supporters of Leno's bill, and voters now have elected a solid majority of legislators who want to make same-sex marriage legal in California.
"The people are speaking through their elected representatives," said Seth Kilbourn, political director for Equality California, a group backing the measure. "We want the governor to keep up with the will of the people and show the type of bipartisan leadership that he has shown on so many other issues."
Since 2000, polls have found that a growing number of people favor allowing same-sex marriage, Kilbourn said. Massachusetts has allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry, as have Canada, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and South Africa.
While opponents of same-sex marriage continue to lead in California polls, the gap has tightened. A January 2000 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that likely voters opposed same-sex marriage 55 to 38 percent. In a poll by the same group in June 2006, the opposition had shrunk to 48 to 46 percent.
Despite what they consider to be growing support in the state, same-sex marriage backers aren't talking about putting a same-sex marriage measure before the voters.
"I guess (a ballot initiative) is always an option," said Molly McKay, media director of Marriage Equality USA. "At the same time, it's such an expensive and difficult process. ...We look to our elected officials to pass legislation that will protect all of its citizens."
Opponents of same-sex marriage say there's a simpler reason for that reluctance: The issue is still a loser at the polls.
"It would be interesting for the same-sex marriage people to make their research public, since every survey we've done shows opposition well into the majority," said Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council, which is associated with James Dobson's huge Focus on the Family Christian ministry.
Proponents of traditional marriage are so confident of their support that they are preparing ballot initiatives even stronger than Prop. 22. One or more of them could go before voters next year, either in June or November.
Prentice's group is behind a measure that would make the Prop. 22 wording part of the state Constitution, instead of just a statute, while another group of same-sex marriage foes would even bar the state from passing domestic partner laws that give same-sex couples some or all of the rights and privileges of married couples.
Leno doesn't argue that voters might turn thumbs down on a same-sex marriage initiative if one were on the ballot. It's a problem the state has seen before, he added.
In 1964, voters overwhelmingly overturned the state's Rumford Fair Housing Act, which banned racial discrimination in home sales and apartment rentals. In 1959, when the Legislature voted to allow interracial marriage in California, Leno said, it came in the face of a nationwide 1958 Gallup Poll that showed better than 90 percent of white voters were opposed to allowing blacks and whites to marry.
"If that had been put to a vote in California, it's quite likely the populace would have said 'No,' " Leno said. "Civil rights for any group should never be put to a vote of the people. This is how we prevent the tyranny of the majority over the minority."
Even if Schwarzenegger follows through and vetoes Leno's same-sex marriage bill, the assemblyman could get his wish if the state Supreme Court comes out in favor of same-sex marriage next year, when it reaches a decision on the legality of San Francisco's 2004 effort to allow same-sex marriages in the city.
Last year, a California appeals court looking at the same case seemed to suggest that it was the Legislature's responsibility to determine marriage law.
"There's no risk of people being cut out of the equation if Schwarzenegger were to sign my bill or the court was to approve same-sex marriage," Leno said.
Opponents of same-sex marriage would go to the courts and the ballot, Prentice agreed.
"I believe people would come out in droves if the state or the courts overturned what they supported seven years ago," he said.