SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–California’s Democratic candidate for governor threw his weight July 7 behind a “gay marriage” bill, promising to sign such legislation into law if he defeats current Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during the November election.
Phil Angelides, who won the Democratic primary in June, announced his support for the bill one day after New York’s highest court refused to legalize “gay marriage” in its much-anticipated decision. Angelides’ announcement wasn’t a surprise — he had publicly backed “gay marriage” in previous months. But his statement at a news conference added one more caveat to the national “gay marriage” debate. The likely Democratic nominees for governor in Massachusetts and New York also support “gay marriage.” Currently, none of the 50 governors publicly supports “same-sex marriage.”
“I would sign the marriage equality bill because I believe if we can get behind people to build a lasting relationship, that is a good thing,” Angelides said at the news conference, according to the Contra Costa Times.
Last year Schwarzenegger, a Republican, vetoed the law after it passed the Democratic-controlled Assembly and Senate.
U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D.-N.Y., appeared alongside Angelides and urged Californians to support him, the Times reported. Clinton, though, refused to answer questions as to whether she supports the ruling by the New York high court.
The sponsor of the “gay marriage” bill, Assemblyman Mark Leno, has said he will introduce the bill once more, in December after the election, the Times said.
Several lawsuits seeking the legalization of “gay marriage” are making their way through the California state courts. An appeals court panel heard oral arguments in the cases July 10.
Clinton herself is walking a tightrope on the “gay marriage” issue in her possible run for the White House. Polls show Democrats are split on the issue, while upwards of 60 percent of Americans oppose it. She voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment this year, although she did not speak about it from the floor. Earlier this year Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the homosexual group Empire State Pride Agenda in New York, sent out an e-mail calling Clinton a “complete disappointment” on homosexual issues.
But in 1996, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, Clinton supported unequivocally the natural definition of marriage.
“Children are better off if they have a mother and a father,” Clinton said then. “My preference is that we do all we can to strengthen traditional marriage … and that people engaged in parenting children be committed to one another.”
But since then, one American state — Massachusetts — has legalized “gay marriage” and homosexual activists are hoping several other states will follow. Clinton has said in recent years she is opposed to “gay marriage,” although she hasn’t gone as far in her comments as she did in 1996.
The July 9 Chronicle headline read: “Clinton silent on same-sex marriage.”
GLOBE AXING PARTNER BENEFITS — Homosexual employees of The Boston Globe have been told they must “marry” if they want to retain their spousal benefits, the Boston Herald reported July 8. The old policy — which granted the partners of homosexual employees health and dental benefits — was launched prior to the 2003 ruling by the Massachusetts high court legalizing “gay marriage.” Partners of unmarried heterosexual employees are not given benefits, the Herald reported.
“An employee who currently covers a same-sex domestic partner as a dependent will have to marry his or her partner by Jan. 1 for the employee benefits coverage to continue at the employee rates,” a memo sent to Boston Globe employees stated, according to the Herald.
The spousal benefits will remain in place for homosexual employees who live in another state, a Boston Globe administrator told the Herald. Out-of-state same-sex couples cannot “marry” in Massachusetts, under state law.
AMERICANS NOT ENLIGHTENED? — The Los Angeles Times published a newspaper editorial July 10 criticizing the New York high court for not legalizing “gay marriage” and the Georgia Supreme Court for reinstating a constitutional marriage amendment. But the Times went one step beyond simple criticism, and called the legalization of gay marriage the “enlightened” approach.
“Neither of these decisions is binding on the courts of other states, any more than was the famous 2003 ruling by Massachusetts’ high court that gay marriage couldn’t be prohibited,” the editorial stated. “So there’s still hope that California’s Supreme Court will take a more enlightened view of the issue when it next hears a challenge to heterosexual monopoly on civil marriage. Advocates of same-sex marriage have turned to the state courts since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ill-advised veto of a same-sex-marriage bill last year, but hopefully the legislature will keep trying.
“… Someday,” the Times said, “we’ll look back on the anti-gay-marriage hysteria with the same revulsion” that Americans now view laws against interracial marrying.
But if support for “gay marriage” is the enlightened view, then there are quite a few unenlightened Americans. Roughly six in 10 Americans oppose “same-sex marriage,” polls show, and 20 states have adopted constitutional amendments banning it. Those amendments have passed with an average of 71 percent of the vote.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage.