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Conservatives Lash Out At Arnold Over Gay Marriage


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Conservatives Lash Out At Arnold Over Gay Marriage

by Mary Ellen Peterson 365Gay.com San Francisco Bureau

Posted: September 12, 2005 5:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) As California gays and lesbians ratchet up pressure to get Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to change his mind on vetoing gay marriage legislation conservatives are voicing their displeasure at his explanation for turning down the measure.

Groups supporting twin proposals to amend the state constitution to bar gay marriage are specifically angry at Schwarzenegger for suggesting the issue should be settled by the courts or voters. While they applaud sending it to the electorate they are accusing the governor of defying Republican reasoning by suggesting the issue should be put to the California Supreme Court.

The Republican mantra, since the Massachusetts court ruling allowing same-sex marriage, has been that the courts are ruled by "activist judges".

"It's not an issue for the courts — he's inviting judicial activism and that's what we're opposed to," Rich Ackerman, of the Pro-Family Legal Center told Fox news.

Randy Thomasson, president of the California Campaign for Families - the group behind one of the proposed amendments - said, "it should not be left up to the courts ... Californians are fed up with politicians and judges attacking their wishes, attacking their vote," he said, referring to Proposition 22.

"I've never heard of any Republican who's actually looking to the courts to decide," said Peter LaBarbera, head of Protect Marriage Illinois, which is trying to get a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in that state.

"That's sort of a naïve view, or just passing the buck," he added.

In addition to attacks from the core base of the Republican Party the moderate California Council of Churches and California Church IMPACT are urging Schwarzenegger to alter course and sign the gay marriage bill.

"People believe that all Christians are opposed to same-sex marriage. That is not at all accurate," said Rev. Schlosser Executive Director of both organizations.

"This bill is completely responsive to the differing views and allows churches to follow their own conscience regardless of what they believe. It is an honorable means to achieving a fully democratic and fair society with all views having the freedom of conscience. We urge the Governor to sign this important and historic bill."

The criticism is an indication that Schwarzenegger's position has eroded support for his reelection.

Meanwhile, Equality California, the state's largest LGBT civil rights group, announced ‘Twelve Days of Equality’, a a statewide campaign aimed at showing Schwarzenegger same-sex couples and their families need greater protections than those provided for in the domestic partnership law, which the governor supports.

“The clock is now running, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has a decision to make about his legacy,” said EC Executive Director Geoffrey Kors.

“Marriage equality legislation now awaits the Governor and our community has an opportunity to let him know that hundreds of thousands of families need him to stand with us on the right side of history.”

Twelve Days of Equality will involve a series of daily grassroots actions to educate local communities about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. One action each day will generate a million actions before the marriage equality bill reaches the Governor’s desk.

So far, though, the governor has shown no sign of changing his position.

©365Gay.com 2005


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