Thursday, September 08, 2005

Arnie Picked Sides Quickly

No huge surprise –— California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he will veto the nation's first legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. The wrinkle is that he did it so quickly, after refusing to comment during the voting.

The presssecretary Margrita Thompson read this official statement:
In Governor Schwarzenegger's personal life and work in public service, he has considered no undertaking to be more noble than the cause of civil rights. He believes that gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationship. He is proud that California provides the most rigorous protections in the nation for domestic partners.

Five years ago the matter of same-sex marriage was placed before the people of California. The people voted and the issue is now before the courts. The Governor believes 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. We cannot have 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.
For someone who has prided himself in being socially liberal, he will surely go down as blowing a big chance. He has long intoned two chants:
  1. The courts, not the legislature, should decide
  2. The will of the people
Hiding behind those two is simply a lack of leadership. That seems same short term, but lets contentious, divisive issues fester and linger.

Governor, POTUS, and in our case Senate President need to be a little ahead of the electorate. Voters almost always want the status quo. The answer is to point and lead where they need to go, not let them stagnate.


worldcitizen said...

"The courts, not the legislature, should decide"

In interesting refrain coming from a Republican governor, isn't it?

Mass Marrier said...

I was worrying that concept too, particularly in light of so many conservatives and anti-gay newspaper types trotting out that argument that only legislated marriage laws are legal.

Yet, when it look at it, they want it all ways. It's activist judges or extreme legislators flouting the will of the people. So, no matter which side gives the answer they don't want, that's the villain.