2005-09-07

California Legislature Approves Gay Marriage

I share GayPatriot's ambivalence on this one, since, as the anti-gay-marriage folks have been quick to point out, 61% of Californians rejected gay marriage in a popular vote in 2000. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's the story:
The California Legislature on Tuesday became the first legislative body in the country to approve same-sex marriages, as gay-rights advocates overcame two earlier defeats in the Assembly.

The 41-35 vote sends the bill to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had no comment on the bill when it cleared the Senate last week. His office did not immediately respond late Tuesday to a call seeking comment. ...

Log Cabin are happy about this:
"Log Cabin applauds the California legislature for this historic vote in favor of basic fairness for gay and lesbian families," said Patrick Guerriero, President of Log Cabin Republicans. The California Assembly followed the California State Senate in passing the historic legislation authored by Mark Leno, which provides civil marriage equality to all couples who want to commit their lives to each other.

"Now that the people of California have spoken through their elected representatives, we call on the Governor to respect this decision and the legislative process, and allow this legislation to become law," continued Guerriero. "Governor Schwarzenegger has been a committed ally of LGBT equality and we thank him for his support in the fight for basic fairness for our families." ....

GayPatriot is less enthusiastic:
I’m torn between the will of the people and the will of the elected representatives. I think this is an important step. But what do the 61% of Californians who voted against same sex marriage in the Year 2000 think about their elected representatives? I don’t know. I admit I struggle with it.

Read GP's full post at the link, and follow the discussion in Comments. I think commenter "joe" gets it about right:
alifornia lets the Legislature and the voters (Initiative process) override each other until one of them finally pulls the trump card, a CA constitutional amendment.

What was a 61% majority against gay marriage 5 years ago, may well be only a 50% majority today. Polls say that CA voter support for gay marriage has risen some. Events of the last 5 years have made gay marriage much more “thinkable” than it used to be.

Having said that, I would feel much better if the Legislature was acting on majority support - which they aren’t. ...

Read it all at the link.