Hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian Californians and their families will continue to live without equality under the law in this state, thanks to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s decision to veto AB 849 by Assemblymember Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). You can read a PDF of his veto message here.
He is continuing to hide behind Prop 22, which voters passed five years ago, and the results of which simply do not relfect how Californians view the issue today. Prop 22 was a right-wing attempt to confuse voters into “protecting marriage,” and it worked. But recent court opinions have made it clear that this is a question of constitutional rights, and thus nothing precluded Schwarzenegger from doing the right thing and signing the bill. He simply does not have the courage to do it.
And in 2006, we are going to elect a Governor who does. Phil Angelides, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Governor, said this today:
“By vetoing the Civil Marriage and Religious Freedom Protection Act, Governor Schwarzenegger has come down on the wrong side of history. [He] had the chance to enter the pages of history with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson; instead he has chosen to be listed alongside George Wallace and Strom Thurmond.”
When my husband Dan and I got engaged two years ago, we were deeply conflicted about getting married, knowing that our own gay friends and family members could not at this time enjoy the same right. We did decide to get married, but in committing to each other, we also committed ourselves to working for the political change necessary to ensure that this horrible wrong would be made right. One of our favorite wedding gifts was a membership to the Human Rights Campaign, which we continue to support, along with Equality California, as much as we can.
We are proud that at Speak Out California, our members sent nearly 300 letters to the Governor urging him to sign AB 849. This was in conjunction with several other groups who lobbied his office heavily during the last two weeks, making sure he heard our voices loud and clear. He did not listen. But he cannot squelch the conviction that we have to make this change.
There will be actions taking place throughout the state tomorrow to further demonstrate this show of solidarity and support. If you can, please attend an event in your area (click on “More” for details):
Local Community Actions Planned to Date:
The following Equality California chapters and allied organizations are hosting community gatherings in response to the Governor’s action on AB 849. We will rally the same day of the veto if the Governor acts before 2 p.m. and the following calendar day (including weekends) if the Governor acts after 2 p.m. If you would like to submit additional local actions, please email email@example.com or call (415) 377-2804 with the details of when and where they will be held and who the contact person is.
Bakersfield (Kern County): Gather at 5 p.m. at the Liberty Bell at corner of Truxtun and Chester. Contact Whitney at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (661) 204-3180.
Los Angeles: Gather at 7 p.m. at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza at 1125 N. McCadden Place (subject to change). If the governor takes action after midday, the meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on the following day. Contact the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to verify the date and location at (323) 993-7617 or visit www.lagaycenter.org.
Modesto: Meet at 10th Street place, downtown across from Brendon Theater from 5 to 7 p.m. Contact Jeff at (209) 480-3622 or email email@example.com.
Sacramento and Yolo: Meet at the State Capitol at 11th and L Street at 5:30 p.m. Contact Kinna Patel at (916) 284-3680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Diego: Gather at the County Administration Building at 1600 Pacific Highway at 6 p.m. Contact Fernando Lopez at (619) 861-7939 or email email@example.com or contact Eddie at (619) 692-2077 ext 111.
San Francisco: Meet at 5 p.m. at Harvey Milk Plaza (corner of Castro and Market) and then march to the LGBT Center (corner of Market and Octavia). Contact John Lewis at (415) 377 7924 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Luis Obispo: Gather at 5:30 p.m. in front of City Hall. Contact David at (805) 440-6487 or email email@example.com.
Santa Cruz: On the day after the veto, gather at 5:30 p.m. at the Town Clock. Contact Merrie at (831) 335-3568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Santa Rosa: Gather at 5:30 p.m. on the steps of City Hall at the corner of 2nd and Mendocino. If it is a weekend day, an email will be sent out announcing the time of the rally. Contact Chari at 707-793-2178 or email email@example.com.
Solano: Gather at 5:30 p.m. where Fairfield Linear Park borders Travis Boulevard (intersection of Solano Mall Road and Travis Boulevard) across from Starbucks. Please contact Jeff and David at (707) 208-0284 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for parking recommendations and suggested messages for signs.
Ukiah: Gather at 5 p.m. in front of the Court House in Ukiah. Contact Jennifer at (707) 490-6319 or email email@example.com