California: Gov. Schwarzenegger says he won't sign same-sex marriage bill

Troy Espera | February 19, 2007

Gov. Schwarzenegger
SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he will veto a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry in California if the measure is passed by the Legislature.

The Sacramento Bee reports that attended a California YMCA Youth and Government conference on Thursday where a high school student asked him if he would sign a gay marriage bill. The governor said: "No. I wouldn't sign it because the people of California have voted on that issue."

In June 2005, the California Legislature became the first lawmaking body in the United States to vote in favor of allowing same-sex couples to wed. Schwarzenegger refused to sign the measure, saying it was in conflict with a 2000 voter-approved measure that shored up the state's one man, one woman marriage laws.

Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, reintroduced the gay marriage bill in December, but Schwarzenegger said on Thursday that his thoughts about it have not changed in the last year and a half.

Schwarzenegger said Thursday that if another gay marriage measure goes on the California ballot in the future, "the people can make the decision."

"They should make the decision," he said, reports the Bee. "But it should not be me or the Legislature."

Geoffrey Kors, executive of the gay rights lobbying group Equality California, told the Associated Press Friday that he hoped Schwarzenegger would take the time to meet with gay and lesbian couples before promising another veto.

"How would the governor feel if his right to marry First Lady Maria Shriver had been put to a popular vote?" Kors said to the AP. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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