.- Many pro-family groups let out a collective sigh of relief today as the office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the former actor plans to veto a bill which would have allowed for same-sex marriage in the state, citing a respect for âthe will of the people.â
AB 849, which passed the State Assembly Tuesday evening, and the State Senate last week, made Californiaâs state legislature the first such body in the country to approve a bill allowing for same sex marriage.
The move outraged pro-family groups who argued that passage of the bill effectively negates Proposition 22, which passed a statewide vote in 2000 with 61% of the population affirming that âOnly marriage between a man and a woman be valid or recognized in California."
Many have pointed out that the California State Constitution prohibits lawmakers from repealing or amending voter-approved initiatives.
Gubernatorial Press Secretary Margita Thompson issued a statement today which said that while Gov. Schwarzenegger âbelieves that gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationshipâ, that he âbelieves the matter should be determined not by legislative action--which would be unconstitutional--but by court decision or another vote of the people of our state.â
âWe cannotâ, the statement continued, âhave a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote. Out of respect for the will of the people, the Governor will veto AB 849."
Currently pro-family groups are working to put a measure on the 2006 California State ballot which would make marriage between anyone other than one man and one woman unconstitutional.