Wednesday evening, September 7, 2005, less than 24 hours after the California state assembly voted 41-35 to approved marriage equality legislation AB 849, the governor has issued a press statement announcing that he will veto the legislation when it reaches his desk.
The announcement came through his press secretary, Margita Thompson who said, “the bill is in conflict with Proposition 22, a ballot initiative passed in 2000 to prevent California from recognizing same sex marriages performed elsewhere. We cannot have a system where the people vote and the legislature derails that vote. Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto the bill." The senate passed the vote last Thursday by a 21-15 margin and passed the state assembly by one vote this Tuesday.
After a meeting late Wednesday with the governor’s senior staff, Equality California’s Executive Director, Geoffrey Kors stated, “One man cannot terminate a civil rights movement. Minority rights should never be dictated by the majority. Hard working, Californians believe in freedom, justice, and equality. The governor has failed our families and the children who will sleep tonight wondering if, tomorrow, their parents will be legal strangers under the law.”
Schwarzenegger has also fallen under criticism by Canada’s largest LGBT rights organization, Egale. "Governor Schwarzenegger is being a ‘girlie-man’, to use his own words, by not standing up for the equality of all Californians," said Gilles Marchildon, Egale’s Executive Director. "He says that it’s not up to political leaders to take a stand. Yet a majority of the people’s representatives voted for equality." There was a great deal of controversy in July of 2004 when Schwarzenegger called the states Democrats “girly-men” for not passing the state’s budget as quickly as planned.
Locally, in the city of Fresno, there will be an opportunity for the LGBT community and our allies from throughout the Central Valley to voice concern regarding the governor’s announcement to veto AB 849. A protest has been scheduled for this afternoon, Friday, September 9th
, from 4pm to 7pm at the intersection of Shaw Avenue and Blackstone. The event is being organized by Jason Scott and Becki Jones of Fresno’s Equality California Chapter. Protestors are encouraged to come out for as little or as long of a time as they can. We want to send a message that we do not approve of the way that the governor has treated our community and equality in general. Signs and banners will be provided, but feel free to bring your own as well.
There are also numerous things we can do on a personal level to make a difference.
Email the governor: www.govmail.ca.gov/
Write/Call/Fax the governor’s office:
State Capitol Office
Fax 1: 916-445-4633
Fax 2: 202-624-5280
2550 Mariposa Mall #3013
Fresno, CA 93721
In the meantime, lets all keep our fingers crossed that we’ll see a little less self-tanner
and a little more positive action
coming out of the governor’s office in support of LGBT legislation.
For more information on this afternoon’s protest, contact: