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Schwarzenegger’s Approval of Hate-Crime Bill Disappoints Conservatives

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs SB 1234, a bill which expands the definition of a hate crime by rewriting 'gender' to include transsexuals and cross-dressers.
( [email protected] ) Sep 28, 2004 08:06 PM EDT

Several conservative Christian groups are extremely displeased with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent approval on several anti-family bills, especially one that expands what is considered a hate-crime by defining “gender” to include transsexuality and cross-dressing.

The Rev. Lou Sheldon, president of Traditional Values Coalition, a group which opposes same-sex “marriage,” said, "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger must not be too troubled by what he's called 'girlie men' because he's just signed a bill into law that maintains 'sex' in California to include drag queens, cross-dressers and transsexuals.”

"Schwarzenegger has sided with the homosexual and drag queen lobby in muddying the biological realities of male and female,” he said.

By signing SB 1234, which was introduced by lesbian state Senator Sheila James Kuehl, into the California Penal Code, “sex” and “gender” is defined to include a “person’s gender identity and gender related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned birth sex.”

Campaign for California Families, a leader in cases against same-sex “marriages” performed in San Francisco earlier this year, also shared TVC’s opposition to the newly approved bill, seeing it as a slap in the face to families and children from the Republican governor.

"Schwarzenegger has given a raw deal to the people who elected him -- the millions of Californians who desire sane government and want good role models for children," said Randy Thomasson, executive director of Campaign for California Families.

Conservatives fear the bill will restrict the freedom of speech of those who do not favor homosexuality.

TVC and CCF also oppose other bills Schwarzenegger signed last week, including legislation that forces insurance companies to provide the same health coverage to homosexual domestic partnerships as heterosexual married couples and an AIDS-prevention bill that allows the selling of drug needles without a prescription and decriminalizes previously unlawful needle possession.

Some conservatives are questioning whether Schwarzenegger’s actions are more liberal than that by former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, who twice vetoed bills permitting the selling and purchasing of drug needles without a prescription and released six times less criminals serving life-time sentences for murder on parole in his eight years in office than Schwarzenegger, who released 48 in less than one year in office.

Penny Harrington, legislative liaison for CWA of California, commented, "Regrettably, the governor has now revealed his socially liberal side, as this is the second bill catering to the homosexual agenda that he has signed. While this is not the outcome we would have desired, we have confidence that the attention drawn to this issue will serve to embolden our pastors and awaken our people to rise up and say, 'No more!' Californians, it's time to speak!"

Although Schwarzenegger’s speech during the Republican National Convention at the end of last month appeared align him with his party’s platform, it “just doesn't carry the teeth,” said Sheldon.

He added, “Everyone loves his image in the movies, but the movies are over and we're dealing with the reality show now."

"Amidst his high poll numbers, Arnold has apparently become unafraid to push his liberal agenda regarding marriage, free speech, drug legalization, social engineering, and releasing convicted killers into our neighborhoods,” said Thomasson.