Where’s an activist judge when you need one?
For years Republicans have been telling us that the Supreme Court was wrong in Roe v Wade and that the issue of abortion should be left up to individual state legislatures. That is until it becomes a bit inconvenient, like for Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
California lawmakers on Tuesday became the first in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, with the State Assembly narrowly approving a bill that defines marriage as between “two persons” instead of between a man and a woman.
Unlike Massachusetts, where gay men and lesbians are permitted to marry because of court rulings, the legislators in California voted to amend the state’s family code without the threat of legal action.
“Do what we know is in our hearts,” Assemblyman Mark Leno, an openly gay Democrat from San Francisco who sponsored the bill, said Tuesday night in a debate on the bill. “Make sure all Californians, all California’s children and families, will have equal protection under the law.”
Opponents of the measure warned that lawmakers were venturing into uncharted and potentially dangerous territory.
“Engaging in social experimentation with our children is not the role of the legislature,” said Assemblyman Ray Haynes, a Republican from Southern California. “We are throwing the dice and taking a huge gamble, and we are gambling with the lives and future of generations not yet born.”
The measure now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, who has supported domestic partnership legislation in the past but has not taken a public position on the marriage bill.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Schwarzenegger, Margita Thompson, said after the vote that the governor believed that the issue of same-sex marriage should be settled by the courts, not legislators, but she did not indicate whether that meant he would veto the legislation. The bill did not pass with enough votes to override a veto.
“The governor will uphold whatever the court decides,” Ms. Thompson said.