Arnold Schwarzenegger is no leader on gay rights in California. But he’s vowed not to stand in the way either. Here are excerpts from his Monday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Hardball:
Why not bring the issue of marriage and what constitutes a valid marriage to the people through a constitutional-amendment process?
Well, they did. The people have voted already on that issue. And we can take it back. If people are not happy with that, they can put another initiative . . .
Are you happy with it if they decide to say it’s okay to have gay marriage in the state?
Absolutely. If the people decide — I’m the people’s representative. I am perfectly fine with that. The important thing is that it’s the people that vote on it. The people have spoken.
So . . .
I think that as we go on, I think people will be feeling more comfortable with the idea of domestic partnership and also marriage.
Are you getting more comfortable with it?
I have always been comfortable with the domestic-partnership rights. But I have always been much more open-minded about all of those things than maybe other people have.
How did you vote on [Proposition] 22? Did you vote for or against it?
For domestic partnership.
But you voted against gay marriage?
I don’t believe in gay marriage. I believe in partnership, domestic partnership.
Suppose the Supreme Court of this state says it is okay to have gay marriage, the same marriage kind of certificate as a heterosexual couple. Would you move to try to change the constitution?
No, absolutely not. I will stay with that.
You think [San Francisco Mayor Newsom] was wrong?
I thought he was overstepping the line, because I thought that this is, again, something that the legislators can do, the people can do, or the court can do, but individual mayors cannot make up the laws as they go along, because, eventually, you have some other mayor in some other town start saying, Okay, I think we should hand out guns and ammunitions and we should have free this. I think we should have — abide by the law and we should have certain rules.
Excerpts from San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer’s
ruling on gay marriage:
It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage
in this State to opposite-sex partners.
The state’s protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified
simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional.
. . . a statute lacking a reasonable connection to a legitimate
state interest cannot acquire such a connection simply by surviving unchallenged
The idea that marriage-like rights without marriage is adequate
smacks of a concept long rejected by the courts: separate but equal.
The idea that California’s marriage law does not discriminate
upon gender is incorrect.
To say that all men and all women are treated the same in that
each may not marry someone of the same gender misses the point.
The marriage laws establish classifications (same gender vs. opposite
gender) and discriminate based on those gender-based qualifications.
The argument that the marriage limitations are not discriminatory
because they are gender neutral is similar to arguments in cases dealing with
. . . the parade of horrible social ills envisioned by the opponents
of same-sex marriage is not a necessary result from recognizing that there is
a fundamental right to choose who one wants to marry.
. . . this court has determined that the State’s two rationales
(tradition and tradition plus marriage rights without marriage) do not constitute
a legitimate governmental interest for the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex
Under our present opposite-sex only law, marriage is available
to heterosexual couples regardless of whether they can or want to procreate.
As long as they choose an opposite-sex mate, persons beyond child-bearing age,
infertile persons, and those who choose not to have children may marry in California.
Persons in each category are allowed to marry even though they do not satisfy
any perceived legitimate compelling government interest in procreation.
. . . the denial of marriage to same-sex couples appears impermissibly