Posted by Audiegrl
The Dessert Sun/Nicole C. Brambila—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law a bill recognizing gay civil rights leader Harvey Milk and another recognizing the rights and benefits of legally married same-sex couples.
Schwarzenegger signed the two pieces of legislation as he dealt with nearly 700 bills on his desk. Sunday was the deadline to sign legislation passed in regular session.
Schwarzenegger attached the following statement to the same-sex couple law:
“As required by Proposition 8, California will not recognize such couples as ‘married.’ However, Senate Bill 54 will provide the same legal protections that would otherwise be available to couples that enter into civil unions or domestic partnerships out-of-state. In short, this measure honors the will of the People in enacting Proposition 8 while providing important protections to those unions legally entered into in other states,” Schwarzenegger wrote.
The Harvey Milk Day bill calls for a day to honor of the slain, gay civil rights leader. It also seeks to educate Californians about the former San Francisco City Supervisor, the nation’s first elected openly gay person.
Advocates considered both necessary for advancing gay civil rights.
Associated Press/Don Thompson— Slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk will get a special day of recognition in California, making him only the second person in state history to gain such a designation.Penn spoke out in favor of the bill last spring, saying he didn’t want to insult Schwarzenegger’s intelligence by assuming the governor would again oppose creating Harvey Milk Day.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signing of the bill establishing “Harvey Milk Day” each May 22, Milk’s birthday, was announced Monday.
The Republican governor vetoed similar legislation a year ago. In the interim, Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in August and was the subject of a movie for which Sean Penn won the Academy Award for best actor.
“He has become much more of a symbol of the gay community than he was a year ago because of those things,” Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said. “That may be the difference from last year: he’s really come to symbolize the gay community in California”