Action hero actor turned Republican Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is expected to veto a bill allowing gay marriages for the second time in two years.
The Californian Senate voted 22 to 15 to support the bill (AB43) that would allow gay marriage based on a “a civil contract between two persons,” that would allow religious insitutions to refuse to officiate gay marriages.
“There has been disparate treatment … and it’s gone to the heart of our lives,” said Democrat Senator Sheila Kuehl, a gay rights activist who added: “Our love is a good love, and the same as others.”
The bill’s author, Democrat Assemblyman Mark Leno said: “Two consecutive legislatures have now boldly and proudly affirmed the full, first class, and equal citizenship of all of Californians in loving and committed relationship who want their bond recognized and honored by the state in which they live and to which they contribute.
“My Senate colleagues recognized what an ever increasing number of fair-minded Californians also see – that marriage strengthens our society and singling same sex couples out of this important institution hurts us all.”
The bill is more or less the same as the one that Mr Schwarzenegger vetoed in 2005.
His spokesman, Aaron McLean, said the governor will abide by the results of a state referendum on marriage where 61.4 per cent of voters said that marriage should be restricted to a man and a woman.”The people spoke their mind in 2000 and it’s his job to uphold the will of the people.”