Schwarzenegger Says ‘Don’t Give up’…

Schwarzenegger tells backers of gay marriage: Don’t give up

 

 

 

 

The governor expresses hope that Proposition 8 would be overturned as protesters continue to march outside churches across California.

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By Michael Rothfeld and Victoria Kim
Los Angeles Times
November 9, 2008

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Reporting from Sacramento and Pasadena — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today expressed hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage. He also predicted that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who have already married would not be affected by the initiative.

 

“It’s unfortunate, obviously, but it’s not the end,” Schwarzenegger said in an interview on CNN this morning. “I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area.”   (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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With his favorable comments toward gay marriage, the governor’s thinking appears to have evolved on the issue.

 

In past statements, he has said he personally believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and has rejected legislation authorizing same-sex marriage. Yet he has also said he would not care if same-sex marriage were legal, saying he believed that such an important societal issue should be determined by the voters or the courts.

 

Following that position, he publicly opposed Proposition 8, which amends the state Constitution to declare that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

 

Today, Schwarzenegger urged backers of gay marriage to follow the lesson he learned as a bodybuilder trying to lift weights that were too heavy for him at first. “I learned that you should never ever give up. . . . They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done.”

 

The governor’s comments came as protesters took to the streets for a fifth day in a row, sometimes marching to Catholic and Mormon churches that supported passage of the ballot measure with public pronouncements and campaign donations.

 

Hundreds of protesters gathered down the hills from Saddleback Church, an evangelical mega-church in the Orange County city of Lake Forest, to speak out against Proposition 8. As several thousand congregants attended services inside the church, passing motorists nearby beeped horns in support to demonstrators waving placards that read, “Equal Rights” and “You Cannot Vote Away Civil Rights.” The protesters had disbursed by early afternoon.

 

In Los Angeles, 75 protesters showed up to a demonstration at Lincoln Park on the city’s Eastside. They were outnumbered by police, soccer players and children enjoying the park. But organizers called their Lincoln Heights event a triumph, saying the largely Latino community had seen very few protests over Proposition 8.

 

“My optimistic projection was 25 people,” said Robert Olivares of the Latino/Latina LGBT Coalition. “We’re hoping that eventually 300 people will show up. For us, that’s beyond a success.”

 

In Oakland, a swarm of protesters at the city’s Mormon temple prompted the California Highway Patrol to close two nearby highway ramps.

 

Other demonstrations were planned today outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles and at other churches in La Jolla and Palm Desert.

 

To be sure, not all churches supported Proposition 8.

 

All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, a well-known liberal church with 4,000 active members, has been blessing the marriages of gay and lesbian couples for the last 16 years.

 

“The evil of discrimination against our lesbian sisters and gay brothers is still alive in the passage of Proposition 8,” the Rev. Ed Bacon told about 1,000 parishioners attending the Sunday morning service. “We will continue to bless same-sex unions here until we can legally celebrate same-sex unions again.” His words brought extended applause and a standing ovation from the congregation.

 

After the service, Bacon and other clergy members held a news conference on the church steps. They were surrounded by gay and lesbian couples, some holding hands, some standing with young children in tow.

 

“I know these couples. I know their relationships,” Bacon told a phalanx of television cameras. “They should be celebrated, rather than disparaged. How dare a religious body say these people are not holy and these relationships are not holy?”

 

Rothfeld and Kim are Times staff writers.

 

michael.rothfeld@latimes.com

victoria.kim@latimes.com

Times staff writers Tony Barboza, Sam Quinones and Kenneth R. Weiss contributed to this report.

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