Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Former CA Gov Schwarzenegger celebrates marriage ruling

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 5.07.05 PMHe could have enacted marriage equality in California – twice – while in office, but both times former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the legislation.

A decade after he first jettisoned a pro-gay marriage bill, the actor-turned-politician took to Twitter late Friday afternoon to celebrate today’s historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court making same-sex marriage the law of the land in all 50 states.

Schwarzenegger simply typed the hashtag #LoveWins and linked to an Instagram picture of himself as his famous movie character The Terminator over-layed with the rainbow colors of the Pride flag. The latest installment of the blockbuster film franchise, Terminator Genisys, opens July 1.

After the state Legislature became the first in the country to pass a pro-gay marriage bill in 2005, Schwarzenegger said he could not sign AB849, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act authored by gay lawmaker Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), then serving in the Assembly, because of the passage of Proposition 22 in 2000. The measure defined marriage as between a man and a woman and restricted California from recognizing gay marriages performed out of state.

“I am proud California is a leader in recognizing and respecting domestic partnerships and the equal rights of domestic partners,” he wrote in his veto message. “I believe that lesbian and gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationships. I support current domestic partnership rights and will continue to vigorously defend and enforce these rights and as such will not support any rollback.”

Schwarzenegger also cited the ongoing court battle over the state’s marriage laws sparked by former Mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to order city officials to marry same-sex couples in 2004 as also impacting his reasoning in why he should not sign the marriage bill into law.

“The ultimate issue regarding the constitutionality of [the state’s laws] and its prohibition against same-sex marriage is currently before the Court of Appeal in San Francisco and will likely be decided by the Supreme Court,” Schwarzenegger correctly predicted.

He issued a similar message in 2007 when Leno was able to pass a second marriage equality bill through the Legislature.

“I maintain my position that the appropriate resolution to this issue is to allow the court to rule on Proposition 22. The people of California should then determine what, if any, statutory changes are needed in response to the court’s ruling,” wrote Schwarzenegger.

In 2008, Schwarzenegger opposed¬†Proposition 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban passed that November.¬† And in 2010 he publicly backed a decision by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker that declared Prop 8 unconstitutional. Schwarzenegger had refused to defend the anti-gay initiative in the courts.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 26, 2015 @ 5:31 pm PST
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