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Lawmakers to delay delivery of gay marriage bill to the Governator

Arnold and his turncoat wife – what kind of Kennedy is she?

“One man cannot terminate the civil rights movement. He will go down in history as the `discriminator.'”

— Eddie Gutierrez, spokesman for Equality California, on Arnold’s decision to veto the bill

The plan is to allow two additional weeks for public comment — calls, e-mails and protests — to Schwarzenegger’s office to let him know that a veto on the gay marriage bill is unacceptable.

“The governor has said he supports the will of the people,” said Sen. Sheila Kuehl, Santa Monica Democrat, one of the Legislature’s six openly gay members. “Well, let the people call him, let the people e-mail him, let the people be heard. Then he can say he’s following the will of the people.”

The question of how Schwarzenegger, who for years had given mixed signals on his beliefs about same-sex marriage, declared so quickly he would veto it dominated the Capitol on Thursday.

After it was approved late Tuesday night, the bill, AB 849, was still being processed Wednesday and had not even been printed when Schwarzenegger’s press secretary issued a statement that the governor would veto it. Schwarzenegger press secretary Margita Thompson said the late-day revelation should have come as no surprise because the governor has consistently said he believed voters had spoken when they approved Proposition 22 in 2000 that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

Schwarzenegger, she said, had come to truly believe that approving same-sex marriage went against voters’ desires.

Assemblyman Mark Leno, the San Francisco Democrat who authored the bill, dismissed that explanation. Stunned by the announcement, Leno on Thursday blasted Schwarzenegger’s decision as a shrewd political move to protect right-wing support for his Nov. 8 special election initiatives.

“It’s transparent as can be,” Leno said. “He is politically pandering to the very far right of this state … We would have appreciated the respect of having an opportunity to have him talk to our families and children so he could hear from their mouths the suffering they experience because of the current law.”

Leno on Thursday lobbied lawmakers to support a rare parliamentary procedure to hold the gay marriage bill from going to the governor’s desk until next year. That effort appeared destined for failure late Thursday, but lawmakers did say they were prepared to delay the bill going to Schwarzenegger until Sept. 23, which could be done without any further action by the Assembly.

As commenter Fritz pointed out in response to the initial post announcing Arnold was going to veto, flooding the Governor’s office is worth the effort:

If you live in California, please take a moment and call Gov. Schwarzenegger’s offices to urge him to reconsider his decision to veto an historic bill that would protect California families. Identify yourself as a Californian and exhort the Governor to sign the Civil Marriage and Religious Freedom Protection Act.

Capitol Number, Sacramento: 916-445-2841
Fresno: 559-445-5295
Los Angeles: 213-897-0322
Riverside: 951-680-6860
San Diego: 619-525-4641
San Francisco : 415-703-2218

Then send a handwritten letter with your personal story and why his veto would hurt real California families.

Governor’s Office
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding