Yesterday, the office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he would veto a bill legalizing same sex marriage, saying that it was counter to the will of the people. Today, while gay-marriage advocates are up in arms, many pro-family groups are praising the governor’s decision.
Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America‘s Culture and Family Institute said that, "Gov. Schwarzenegger has done the right thing in promising to veto this illegal bill. It's evidence that CWA of California and other pro-family groups got their message through to him: 'We don't want counterfeit marriage.'"
"The California Constitution”, he added, “clearly states that the Legislature cannot overturn a Proposition vote unless they put another Proposition on the topic to the voters, who spoke loudly and clearly with Proposition 22 in 2000 that they want marriage to remain marriage.”
The passage of the AB 849 made the California state legislature the first such body in the country to legalize same-sex marriage without a court mandate.
Many pro-family groups had argued that the bill went counter to Proposition 22, which passed a statewide vote in 2000 with 61% of the population affirming that “Only marriage between a man and a woman be valid or recognized in California."
Gov. Schwarzenegger pointed out that the California State Constitution prohibits lawmakers from repealing or amending voter-approved initiatives.
Karen England of the Capital Resource Institute was also grateful for the move. "On behalf of families across the state of California,” she said, “Capitol Resource Institute wishes to express its gratitude to the governor for standing up for, not only the voters of California, but also for the timeless institution of marriage."
"Marriage is the foundation of the family and same-sex marriage discounts the well- established truth that children need both a mom and a dad," she said.
The bill passed the state senate last week with a 21-15 vote and the state assembly 41-35 on Tuesday.
A 2006 state ballot initiative is currently being drafted by some family groups which would seek to amend the state constitution to define marriage as only between a man and woman.