It was a shame that Governor Terminator was not present to keep the peace, as California lawmakers once again descended into tantrums over gay issues.

A bill to allow registered domestic partners to file joint tax returns seems to have been a little too much for some Republican Assembly members yesterday.

Tax law is not normally the sort of legislation that gets people shouting. The current law allows married people to file joint or separate tax returns: the proposed measure would extend that freedom to registered domestic partners.

California banned gay marriage but has legalised civil unions, or domestic partnerships as they are known, for LGBT people.

There are six openly gay or lesbian members of the bicameral Legislature, the primary law-making body for 34 million Californians.

It all started to get a bit heated in the lower house, the Assembly, when Republican representative Jay La Suer referred to the tax proposal as part of a gay agenda, which teaches Californian children that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle.

Democrat Assemblyman Lloyd Levine felt moved to point out that: “the real homosexual agenda is simple equality and freedom from discrimination.”

A lesbian Assembly member from LA was unhappy, claiming she was being castigated by the opposition.

“What you seek in society is acceptance,” Republican Dennis Mountjoy said to the three openly gay members of the Assembly. “But your lifestyle is abnormal. It is sexually deviant.”

The Democrats walked out.

The tax measure was later approved by 44-28. It now returns to the Senate for a final vote.

It will stop the current unfair situation whereby Californians who make $75,000 a year and are in a registered domestic partnership pay $1,000 more in taxes than married couples.

As reported by PinkNews.co.uk, earlier in the month Republicans heckled gay Californians being honoured for their achievements at the State Capitol, including the boyfriend of ex-N Sync star and newest gay on the block Lance Bass.

Earlier this week the State Assembly passed a bill which will protect gay and lesbian students and school staff from abuse.