One day after 200 Southern Californians rallied to protect traditional marriage, assemblyman Mark Leno announced that he is pulling back his controversial bill that calls for the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in California, May 19, 2004.
Leno’s contested bill, entitled, “AB1967” was the first bill in the country to allow same-sex couples to receive “marriage” licenses that passed through a legislative committee. However, the measure stalled even before it reached the Assembly floor.
The bill would have specifically amended the state Family Code to define marriage as between “two persons” as opposed to “a man and a woman.” It also would have expanded many of the rights of gay partners in the sunshine state.
In effect, the bill would have undermined Proposition 22 – a ballot initiative that clearly defines marriage as between a man and a woman in California; the ballot passed in 2000 with a majority vote.
At yesterday’s rally, held in Los Angeles, the protestors carried signs that said, “no to AB1967,” and “Don’t Speak for Us,” in reference to Leno’s bill. They also held pictures of a bride and a groom, and posters with scriptural text.
"We'll stop at nothing to kill this bill this year or next year," said Benjamin Lopez, a lobbyist for the Traditional Values Coalition.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneger also made no moves to push the AB 1967. Several months ago when San Francisco began illegally “marrying” gay couples, Schwarzenegger ordered them to stop.
Leno acknowledged that the governor ‘did not want to see the bill on his desk.”
"The governor refused to sit and talk with the [gay and lesbian] caucus, and to me that made it clear he was not prepared to sign it this year," Leno said.
At any case, Leno said that he would try to bring the bill back to the governor’s desk next year.
"I am very confident we will move this bill to the governor's desk next year," Leno said.
However, Lopez said Leno, pro-gay lobbyists and lawmakers were being cowards for not pushing the issue in an election year.
"I think it is insulting to the voters of California for them to say they are going to reintroduce the bill next year, when legislators do not have to face the voting public," he said. "They are afraid of the wrath of the public, and they should be."
Randy Thomasson, executive director of Campaign for California Families, agreed, saying: “It is the height of arrogance for these Democrat politicians to scheme to trash the vote of the people on marriage when they think voters aren’t looking.”
“For the sake of the children, the overwhelming majority of Californians want marriage protected for a man and a woman this year, next year and always,” Thomasson said. “Why do the Democrat politicians keep pushing for homosexual ‘marriage’ when the people have repeatedly said ‘no’? The strategy of Leno and the Democrat bosses is going to backfire. These corrupt politicians are teaching voters that to protect marriage, you have to oppose Democrats!”