Equal rights bill makes a comeback

A bill that would give same-sex couples equal rights to marry has been revived in a new form, and was passed by a committee in the California Senate Tuesday. What was Mark Leno’s AB 19 is now AB 849, and it is headed for another vote before the full Senate where it is sure to pass.
It’s the Assembly where the bill still needs help. AB 19 failed the first time around by six votes (eight moderate Democrats either opposed it or abstained), and in today’s Chronicle account of the issue, Leno says he has gotten that down to three.
Leno is so right to push this. Not only is it absolutely the right thing to do, it’s an opportunity to bring the fight straight to Schwarzenegger, a self-proclaimed moderate Republican. Indications are that the Governor would veto the measure, which would likely shore up his Republican base. But that’s not where we are having the problem, as we already know Republicans in the state overwhemlingly support him. It’s the Democrats who voted for Schwarzenegger in the recall who we need to shore up against him, and a vote against equal rights could very well help do that.
Our friends at Equality California have been doing great work in this important battle, and we urge you to visit their site and sign up for action alerts so you can make a difference when the crucial votes come.
So far the Democratic opposition has been from people in tough districts, mostly Central Valley or Inland Empire. But while re-election is important, what is that worth if there are thousands of citizens in this state who are the victims of blatant bigotry? We are better than that in California, and it’s time to make it right.
I mean, if California Democrats can’t even stand up for love, we’re really in trouble.