Governor Schwarzenegger Vetoes Marriage Equality Bill

by HRC Staff

Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act Would Have Provided Equal Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples Under California Law

WASHINGTON - On October 12, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have given same-sex couples the equal right to marry under California law. The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act passed the Assembly by a 42-34 vote and the Senate by a 22-15 vote. Governor Schwarzenegger also vetoed a similar bill in 2005.

"This is an incredible disappointment. The Governor's decision to overrule the legislature, for the second time in two years, is nothing less than a decision to deny equality to same-sex couples and their families," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Governor Schwarzenegger had the opportunity to ensure equality for all loving and committed couples in California. Instead, he chose to restrict basic fairness and to continue to relegate same-sex couples to the separate and unequal system of domestic partnerships. I am confident, however, that the Governor will not have the last word. I know that Equality California, and all Californians who believe in equality, will keep fighting until there is justice, until marriage equality is a reality in California."

California law currently permits same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships, but not to marry. In re Marriage Cases, a case seeking marriage equality for same-sex Californian couples, is currently pending before the California Supreme Court. The Human Rights Campaign and Human Rights Campaign Foundation signed on to an amicus brief in that case urging the court to recognize marriage equality.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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