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Schwarzenegger, White House differ on amendment

LOS ANGELES (BP)–California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said March 1 he’d prefer that the issue of same-sex “marriage” be left up to the states, but a White House spokesman said the next day that a marriage amendment would do just that.

Appearing on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” Schwarzenegger, a Republican, was asked by Leno his thoughts on a constitutional marriage amendment, which President Bush supports.

“I think those issues should be left to the state, so I have no use for a constitutional amendment or change in that at all,” he said, according to The Los Angeles Times.

But the White House said March 2 that an amendment would give the states a voice. An amendment must be passed by two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-fourths of the states.

“[With] the constitutional process the states will be involved. The states will get to have their say,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. “… [It would involve] members elected by the people that will be able to express the will of the people in the constitutional process.”

In comments that have received widespread attention, Schwarzenegger also said he supports current state laws against same-sex “marriage” but would have no problem if they were changed.

“No, I don’t have a problem. Let the court decide. Let the people decide,” Schwarzenegger said.

In 2000 California voters passed by a margin of 61-39 percent a proposition stating that marriage is between one man and one woman.

“That’s the law,” Schwarzenegger said. “We must abide by the law. If the people change their mind and they want to overrule that, that’s fine with me, but right now that’s the law and I think that every mayor and everyone should abide by the law.”

Randy Thomasson, executive director of the Campaign for California Families, pointed to comments that Schwarzenegger made during the recall election. Appearing on the Sean Hannity radio program last year, Schwarzenegger said, “Marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman,” according to Thomasson.

California legislators are considering a bill, AB 1967, that would legalize same-sex “marriage.”

“Millions of Californians are depending on Arnold Schwarzenegger to keep his campaign promise to protect marriage for a man and a woman,” Thomasson said in a statement. “Parents and grandparents and decent people everywhere want him to veto AB 1967 should it reach his desk.”

The controversy in California began Feb. 12 when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in violation of state law. Pro-family groups have sued, seeking to have the licenses invalidated.
For more information on the debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit BP’s story collection at:

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