Arnold Schwarzenegger on Marriage Equality and Prop 8 Protests


STEPHANOPOULOS: Proposition 8 here in California, it passed, defining marriage as exclusively for men and women. I know you’ve said you hope the court overturns it. Will you join Democrats who are filing a challenge in the court?

SCHWARZENEGGER: No. I mean, I have been asked to join this fight, and I had my own fight with Proposition 11, and that’s what I’ve focused on.

But I made it very clear. I personally am — for me, marriage is between a man and a woman. But I don’t want to ever force my will on anyone.

I think that the Supreme Court was right by saying that it’s unconstitutional. And that everyone should have the right, just like we had the battle in 1948 and the Supreme Court decision came down, that, you know, it was unconstitutional for blacks and whites not to be able to get married with each other, and they overturned that. And since then, that has been taken care of.

And now the Supreme Court says that it’s also unconstitutional to not let gay people get married, the same-sex marriage. So to me, that is the important decision here, and everything else is not that important. So people can pass initiatives, like Proposition 187 passed under Wilson that said we should not give, you know, Latinos and those that are illegally here any educational services or any kind of medical services. The Supreme Court said, well, the people maybe had some intentions there, but it’s unconstitutional.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you think the courts should overturn Proposition 8?

SCHWARZENEGGER: The court has overturned it. And now they went back. And the people have voted for it again, against the gay marriage. So the Supreme Court, you know, I think ought to go and look at that again. And we’ll go back to the same decision, basically.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you believe they will.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I think that they will. And I think that the important thing now is to resolve this issue in that way.

SCHWARZENEGGER: In a peaceful way, rather than, you know, going out and protesting, and going out and boycotting and all those things. I think that’s not the best way to go about it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: In the meantime, some legal experts have suggested that you should, if you believe that, issue an edict, a ruling, that says that the marriages that have already taken place in California are absolutely legal. Will you do that?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I have to get together with Jerry Brown, our attorney general, and see what the legal opinion is, because he’s my lawyer, basically. And so, we always do those things together.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’re inclined to do it?

SCHWARZENEGGER: It’s a conversation that I can have with him about the — if that’s the legal way to go.


  1. Wes says

    “In a peaceful way, rather than, you know, going out and protesting, and going out and boycotting and all those things. I think that’s not the best way to go about it.”

    Um, whats not peaceful about protesting or boycotting?

    Oh so he thinks we should just sit around and wait for shit to happen. F*ck you, trying to have this issue every way possible.

  2. says

    i will say it again, i think the man is bright and a great leader. He can speak to any issue worldwide with a breadth of knowledge that certain other republican governors cannot.

    he was also much more vocal in his opposition to prop8 than our president-elect was.

  3. says

    What i think he means, LIZ, is that he believes that California constitution, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation clearly allows for gay marriage. This is why the supreme court overturned the prop from 2000 and why he believes that the court will overturn prop 8. He means we should use our resources to make sure we can afford the right attorneys to argue our case. Many of the state’s lawmakers have filed friend-of-the-court documents seeking to expedite such a ruling.

  4. says

    He’s right: the court should overturn Prop 8. As for the protests and boycotts, easy for you to say, Arnie, you’re still married and no one’s threatening to make Maria a stranger to you. Of course the protests and boycotts aren’t in HIS best interest, just as saying he personally feels marriage should be between a man and a woman (while giving no justification for this view) is in his best interest as a politician. Too late for him to suggest we sit around knitting, waiting to be allowed back at the straight table.

  5. liz says

    Thanks Dan.

    well, ok, the court may just overturn prop 8….at the same time, other measures were passed in other states. the protesting is more than prop 8 at this point. at least to me, it is. I think there are us who feel “what else may be taken from us?”

    we come so far, then go so far back….heck no. we want to continue going far, and if we need to protest, so be it. and as someone said, it’s easy for Arnold to voice his view on how protests aren’t the way to go. would wonder how he’d feel if his marriage was taken away

  6. Paul says

    From what I understand this whole issue is Ah-nold’s fault. According to what I read the CA state legislature passed a measure to allow same sex couples to marry and he vetoed it, saying it was a decision the CA Supreme Court should rule on. They ruled and this whole thing exploded.

    In April he said he would oppose any bill that bans same-sex marriage but he also vetoed the for-same-sex marriage bill. Where does he stand? It seems to me that Ah-nold has no balls and is the “Girly-man” he says others are. How pathetic. You Californians need to vote this guy out!

  7. Bradley says

    Arnold wants to eat his cake and have it, too. He courted the bigot / Republican vote with his “traditional view” of marriage and now he wants to claim the spot of an enlightened, pro-equality Governor. He is only trying to save his political ass and he should, bless him, have the strength of his lack of convictions. Like all Republicans he is worried about how the future and posterity. You can’t be both “for” and “against” equal rights.

    And his position on protests and boycotts lacks intellectual prowess. The US Revolution was a protest; this is a continuance.

  8. John in CA says

    Remember, Arnold also said “it’ll never pass” with regards to Proposition 8. So, his track record on predicting same-sex marriage related events isn’t exactly the best. Don’t take anything for granted here, folks.

    This Supreme Court challenge is hardly a slam dunk. And we need to show the justices that we care about these discriminatory practices (through concrete actions like boycotts and peaceful protests). Despite their best attempts to “bracket” off non-legal happenings around them, judges are still human. And If they sense we simply aren’t invested in this, then they’re much more likely to leave well enough alone.

  9. Bill C. says

    This is somewhat disappointing after his comments a few days ago.

    The protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful. Appropriately angry, yes, but not violent. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with boycotts.

    His “personal belief” thing — coming from a nude-posing, womanizing Hollywood himbo — is pretty absurd. It seems like he’s trying to straddle a fence that’s really not straddleable.

    Schwarzenegger has never exactly been an intellectual. He’s pretty consistent there.

  10. Josh says

    I find it funny when people tell us not to protest or boycott…

    Considering that women and African Americans protested and boycotted for their equal rights.

    Religious Right groups like AFA boycott pro-gay businesses so why can’t we boycott anti-gay businesses?

    We also have to remember that the right wing nutters are e-mailing Arnold and trying to pressure him into publically supporting Prop 8.

  11. peterparker says

    Twice he had the opportunity to sign legislation that would allowed for marriage equality in California and twice he vetoed that legislation. Now he wants to look like he is on our side while insinuating that our protests have not been peaceful. I have a message for you Arnold: go fuck yourself!

  12. says

    The substantive news here is his possible willingness to back or reinforce Jerry Brown in his interpretation of the validity of the 18,000 marriages performed to date. True to form, of course, the Governor is waiting for someone else to act or opine first–and who knows what kind of legal validity his action would have–but it would be an important step. The reaffirmation of the validity of these marriages will be a fundamental step, first, to the couples themselves (who very much meant what they said in all those ceremonies this summer), and second, to the fight to overturn 8, because the inequality in having some gay couples who can be married and others who cannot will be obvious.

  13. mwf says

    I can’t imagine the Supreme Court not overturning Prop 8.

    As a reminder, they overturned the anti-immigrant proposition; they use rational thought – unlike religious nuts.

    And if not, I guess ballot issues passed by the citizens may be forthcoming to:

    – Ban ugly people from getting married
    – Ban interracial marriage
    – Ban overweight people from getting married
    – Reinstate slavery, not just for African-Americans, but for Asians, Hispanics, etc
    – Ban women from the right to vote
    – Ban anyone but property owners from the right to vote
    – Ban obnoxious people from getting married

  14. Jason Jay says

    Sadly, the judges in SF are coming upon re-election…and there is a big chance they will rule that PROP 8 is very much valid and gay marriage will remain illegal because they want to keep their positions.

  15. scar2 says

    I wish his wife was the governor of California. She campaigned for Obama while her husband was for McCain. I remember she devoted an hour-long special on NBC about gay rights over 10 years ago. Now that she’s no longer a newscaster she should consider running for office.

  16. says

    Individuals will move this struggle forward; we simply CANNOT count on NOR wait for our politicians to do this for us. They will be walking across that tightrope for 30 years, trying to stay “balanced” between the HATERS and FULL EQUALITY as society SLOWLY evolves.

    F-that. Find your OWN voice and your OWN style of protest that honors your hearts, and get OUT THERE.



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