Just this morning, in a 22-15 vote, the Senate joined the Assembly in asking the Governor to provide same-sex couples with the same safety and security of marriage that opposite-sex couples have always had.
Those of you who have been following my letter-writing campaign know the issues: the Governor is using Proposition 22, a state-rights voter initiative passed in 2000, both as a measure of the intent of the voters and an excuse to veto these bills.
There is no legal conflict with Proposition 22, since the initiative did not affect California marriages one bit, legally or practically. AB 43 would actually reverse a 1977 law that the legislature passed and our current Attorney General signed when he was Governor.
Using Proposition 22 as a measure of the people’s intent is suspect. Seven years after Proposition 22, polls here in California show the people actually support the freedom to marry by a small – but significant – margin. Voters reelected every Senator and Assemblymember who voted for marriage freedom last session, and we received three more votes in the Senate than last time.
There is no point in lobbying the Governor when he uses mischaracterizations of the law to shield himself from taking controversial actions. As soon as Mr. Schwarzenegger is out of office, we will have the freedom to marry. By signing this bill, he will extend his legacy, but with a veto, the Governor is using his pen as a weapon to meddle with freedom and divide California.