Friday, August 6, 2010

Bravo, Governator!

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, despite being named as a defendant in the recently-contested trial for Proposition 8 -- a state constitutional amendment that revoked same-sex marriages rights -- issued a court filing on Friday asking that Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling be immediately implemented.

Schwarzenegger was named as a defendant by virtue of being the state's governor, though he did not publicly support or reject Prop 8, before or after its November 2008 passing. He was against the initiative when it was on the ballot -- California already granted same-sex couples marriage rights -- and he did not advocate on Prop 8's behalf even after 52 percent of California voters decided to take those rights away.

Even though, as I mentioned in my last post, such a thing should've never come to a vote.

Schwarzenegger's filing asks that Judge Walker's staying of his ruling -- which he put in place in anticipation of pending appeals -- be bypassed and that California immediately start granting marriage rights to same-sex couples again.

California issued 18,000 same-sex marriage licenses prior to the passing of Prop 8.

Though Gov. Schwarzenegger deserves a lot of blame for California's woes -- particularly on the budget front -- he deserves credit on this issue. Unlike most within the Republican Party, Gov. Schwarzenegger understands the nuances behind Judge Walker's ruling, and he understands that granting equal rights to all of California's citizens are an important part of the state's foundation and identity.

The filing was a surprise, but a welcome one; Gov. Schwarzenegger deserves praise and thanks for helping further the cause of full equality under the law in this country. Opponents like to frame same-sex marriage as a moral or religious issue, when it is in fact a question of whether we should be granting different citizens different sets of rights.

The answer, of course, is that we should not. The Constitution grants all American citizens equal protection and rights under the law, and that includes homosexuals. Judge Walker's thorough ruling reflects that reality, and I applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger for realizing that.

It might not seem like much, but having such a prominent Republican fighting for equal rights for homosexuals is not a small thing.

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