I hear the “activist legislatures” chant

In a not particularly unprecedented move yesterday, the California Assembly did what legislative bodies have always done: it adapted to evolving definitions of personal liberty and passed legislation allowing same-sex marriage in California. The bill now goes to Governor Schwarzenegger for his input, which is where this gets interesting. He must decide whether to sign the bill or veto it. The bill’s supporters do not have the votes necessary to overcome a veto. Governor Schwarzenegger said he wants the court to decide the issue, based on Proposition 22, the 2000 ballot initiative defining marriage as one man and one woman.

We’ll find out soon, although I suspect he’ll take the easy way out and veto the bill. I obviously think he should sign it. It’s the right thing to do and history will ultimately reflect that. He has the chance to catch California up to a reasonable understanding of civil liberties and individual freedom, concepts that are supposedly dear to his Republican heart. If there is any doubt that that’s what this struggle is about, as opposed to some mythical “homosexual agenda”, consider this statement:

Hanus Jelinek of San Francisco said that far from threatening marriage, the bill would allow him to live the same life as anyone else.

“I can settle down with my beloved, and the government will just leave us alone,” he said.

The government will just leave us alone. Wouldn’t that be a glorious day?

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