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Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs 2 Pro-LGBT Bills

Jim Burroway

October 12th, 2009

Everyone’s excited about Harvey Milk finally getting his day, but the bigger news is this: California will now recognize marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships performed in other states, and treat them as Domestic Partnerships under state law. From The Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed two gay rights bills, one honoring late activist Harvey Milk and another recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

…In a signing message, Schwarzenegger said California will not recognize the couples as married but will “provide the same legal protections that would otherwise be available to couples that enter into civil unions or domestic partnerships out-of-state. In short, this measure honors the will of the People in enacting Proposition 8 while providing important protections to those unions legally entered into in other states.”

May 22 will now be a state day of recognition for Harvey Milk. Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill last year.

Update: Gov Schwarzenegger also vetoed two bills: AB 1185 which would allow “better access to birth certificates for transgender people,” and AB 382, which would provide protections for LGBT prisoners.



October 12th, 2009 | LINK

I can never, ever get excited about Domestic Partnerships/Civil unions. Yeah I get that they’re helpful and better than nothing, but I have to much self-respect to be happy I’m legally considered a second class citizen who doesnt deserve a REAL marriage like good decent straight folk.

October 12th, 2009 | LINK

I agree with Penguinsaur, but I think it’s okay as a Bandaid. I hope that better is to follow. When the Christianists understand what happened, they will be *pissed*. So, thanks for the moment, Governator.

*takes deep breath*

Lindoro Almaviva
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

Add my voice to those who are not wowed by civil (2nd class citizenship) unions, but I understand the significance; so thanks to the Governator and congrats to the people of CA.

Timothy Kincaid
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

A small reminder:

Since the passage of Proposition 8, this is the best our legislature and governor can do. We cannot – until we reverse Prop 8 – recognize marriage equality in the state. Were it possible to do so, our legislature, our governor, and our Supreme Court would do so.

Here’s a little twist:

Prior to the In Re Marriages decision, California was banned (by Prop 22) from recognizing out-of-state marriages with any status. When the Supreme Court legalized marriage, they threw out that language, which allowed the state to recognize out of state marriages.

When Prop 8 passed, it did not include language banning out-of-state recognition, so therefore this became something the leg/gov could enact.

Timothy Kincaid
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

Please also note,

SB 54 does not (as might be deduced from the Governor’s comments) recognize all out of state marriages as domestic partnerships.

Rather, it treats them as though they were in-state marriages: i.e. it says that if they occurred before November 5, 2008, they will be marriages and if they are after that date, they will be domestic partnerships.

Regan DuCasse
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

Well why didn’t that DICKHEA*, sign the legislative bills that made marriage legal back in 2002, 2006?
He got those bills on his desk TWICE, and he vetoed them.
Now he signs this, when he allowed the previous bills to be vulnerable to a public majority vote?

What. An. A$$hole!

Timothy Kincaid
October 12th, 2009 | LINK


Schwarzenegger said that he vetoed the two previous bills because to do so would be unconstitutional and because a judge would put an immediate hold on it until the courts resolved the issue.

Interestingly, he was absolutely correct. The CA Supreme Court, in overturning the ban on gay marriage, specifically noted that the language of Prop 22 could not be overturned by the legislature – exactly as Schwarzenegger said. Same sex marriage would not have come one day sooner whether or not he signed.

Now I wish he had taken the symbolic route of signing the bills. But it would have been pure symbolism and nothing else.

October 12th, 2009 | LINK

It says he vetoed those other bills because they were unnecessary.. Are they really? It seems like they’re only unnecessary because that’s policy now under the current administration, but could be easily undone since it’s not in the books permanently.. Even if it were redundant or unnecessary I don’t see why he had to put his foot down there.

October 12th, 2009 | LINK

The hell with the “will of the People”; just like they took away marriage from us, so can they steal the rest of our protections. I can’t wait until the Boies-Olson trial happens.

October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Copy editing note: the governor’s name is misspelled in the headline.

Schwarzenegger also signed a third pro-LGBT bill: the LGBT Domestic Violence Programs Expansion bill, which expands access to state funds for LGBT-oriented domestic violence programs.

It should be noted that regarding the Equal ID Act and the LGBT Prisoner Safety Act, the vetoes do not mean Schwarzenegger is opposed to the substance of the bills. Rather, the governor’s position is that the protections provided by each bill are already in place and thus the bills would be redundant.

Finally, thanks to Timothy for your very clear explanation of how the out-of-state marriage bill will work. I was a bit perplexed about that, and the Schwarzenegger’s “signing message” only added to my confusion.

Jim Burroway
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Headline fixed. Thanks.

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