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Arnold will use his veto pen on marriage equality bill

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will terminate the marriage bill again if it reaches his desk, claiming that because “the people” decided the rights of gays and lesbians at the ballot box. He’s always said that the state Supreme Court (those activist judges!)  to rule whether the state’s ban on marriage equality should be overturned.

Assemblyman Mark Leno, the San Francisco Democrat who introduced the gay marriage bill that Schwarzenegger vetoed in 2005, said he is confident lawmakers will send the measure to the Republican governor again this year.

…In his veto message in 2005, Schwarzenegger said the Leno bill violated Proposition 22, the anti-gay marriage initiative approved by California voters in 2000, and that any attempt to legalize same-sex weddings also should go on the ballot.

Schwarzenegger repeated that stand in comments to high school students attending a YMCA conference in February.

“I don’t want, as governor, to go against the will of the people,” he said.

A recent poll showed a rise in support for marriage equality, up from 38 percent to 43 percent. In the end, however, the problem, as I’ve said many times before, is that civil rights aren’t something you put to a popular vote, something Leno focuses on.

“The governor’s civil rights, as well as my own civil rights, shouldn’t be placed before the voters,” he said. “That’s not how we make decisions regarding equal protection under the law for all citizens.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding