It is clear that Gov. Schwarzenegger sees the writing on the wall: the right wing is the only support he has left. So even though he ran on a platform of being socially moderate, including supporting gay rights, Schwarzenegger knows that he has to pander to the one group of people remaining who actually support him.
“Schwarzenegger is facing plummeting popularity just two years after chasing Democratic Governor Gray Davis out of office in a recall election in 2003. He has taken on nurses, teachers, and state workers and has called a special election for November, the centerpiece of which is a ballot measure that would redraw the lines of the state’s districts to reduce the Democrats’ majority in the Legislature. But the idea of the election is not faring well with voters, and the Democrats are pressing legislation that would allow him to cancel it. Recent polls show that only about 27 percent of the state’s voters like the idea of the election at all.
So advocates claim Schwarzenegger is using the issue of gay rights to shore up eroding support in his right-wing fundamentalist base. On Tuesday, the governor also vetoed a minor bill that would have added sexual orientation to a voluntary list of prohibited topics in political campaign advertising.”
The article from Gay City News also prints a sizable excerpt of Speak Out California Board Member and Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg:
During the floor debate, Goldberg told the story of her own wedding to 26-year-partner Sharron Stricker. She married Stricker on the steps of San Francisco’s City hall in March 2004 during a brief period when Mayor Gavin Newsom had authorized same-sex marriages, before being stopped by state courts.
“We went there to do that … because we thought we would be making a statement about our beliefs. We really weren’t that into it. It was kind of a last minute decision,” Goldberg said. “Sheila Kuehl, Senator Kuehl, said she would do the service for other people and we thought we’d join in. Up until the moment we were actually standing there and she was saying by the authority vested in her she now pronounced us married, I had no idea. I had no idea what a difference that would make.
“Now all of you who’ve been married. You knew that. You knew that. I didn’t. I really didn’t. It was not something I ever thought would ever happen to me.
“I have to tell you it was the most overwhelming moment – I burst into tears. It was the most overwhelming moment I can remember in my adult life…
“I still have my ring. I’m still married. Sharron still wears her ring.
“Why do I tell you this?
“I tell you all this because this isn’t an intellectual exercise. You understand. You who are married here. You understand how important marriage is. I just can’t understand for the life of me, why you could deny it to me.
“I don’t get it.
“I truly don’t get it.”