A gay group has congratulated California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on his re-election in the mid-terms.

Since taking office in 2003, Governor Schwarzenegger has signed over 20 bills supportive of the gay and lesbian community including expansion of domestic partnership rights, hate crimes protection, housing and employment non-discrimination laws, improving HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment strategies, and ending the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the state militia.

The Governor has spoken out publicly against the anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment and has been one of the nation’s leading voices advocating for a “Big Tent” Republican Party.

He was congratulated by gay lobby group the Log Cabin Republicans. Jeff Bissiri, Log Cabin’s California Director, said: “The Governor has reached out to all Californians including the gay and lesbian community. The Governor’s inclusive leadership is a model for other Republicans around the nation. His re-election shows that inclusion wins.”

On June 29, 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger was the guest of honor at an event to support the work of Log Cabin. He made history as the first Republican governor in California to speak to the gay and lesbian community.

At the event he declared that he was “committed to being a Governor for all Californians” and was “proud to stand side by side with Log Cabin in their work to offer basic fairness for gay and lesbian citizens.”

He went on to say, “A person should only be limited by his dreams and not by his background, and not by his heritage and not by his sexual orientation…We are united in the values of love, tolerance, and understanding…working together we can create a better future for California where everybody matters and every family counts.”

Governor Schwarzenegger has however previously been criticised for not supporting gay marriage in the state.