Report: Schwarzenegger Signs ‘Harvey Milk Day’, Marriage Bills


L.A.-based journalist Karen Ocamb is reporting that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last night signed a bill designating May 22 as "Harvey Milk Day" in California. Schwarzenegger also reportedly signed Senate Bill 54, which requires that California recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Said Schwarzenegger of the marriage bill: 

"Following the passage of Proposition 8, there has been some
uncertainty as to how California should treat same-sex couples that
married out-of-state while same-sex marriage was legal in California.
Consistent with the California Supreme Court’s decision that upheld the
validity of those in-state marriages entered into prior to the passage
of Proposition 8, Senate Bill 54 clarifies that California must also
recognize as married couples that legally married in another state
during the same period of time in which same-sex marriage was legal in

"In addition, Senate Bill 54 also requires that California recognize
the union of couples that marry in states where same-sex marriage is
legal. 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."

The Victory Fund is reporting this as well…


  1. Attmay says

    “B-b-b-but, h-he’s a Rethuglicanazi, how can he sign anything remotely pro-gay, he’s pure evil I tells ya, just like that homophobic torture jockey Dick Cheney.”

    Meanwhile back in the real world, I say:

    Thanks, Gov. Schwarzenegger. You’ve already done more for gays than Gay Messiah 2.0.

    Even though I don’t live in CA, I will be taking every May 22 off from now on and sending Milk Day cards to everyone I know.

  2. Zach says

    Schwarzenegger repeatedly stalled on other gay rights measures. ‘Rethuglican’ is extreme, but he is a politician and an inherent opportunist. He’s not going to lose any real political capital on this issue, at this moment.

  3. Grimmlok says

    so… can’t get married in California… but prior gay marriages will be recognized… as well as any performed out of state….

    Does California enjoy being schizophrenic or something?

  4. FizziekruntNT says

    Politics as usual, but hey, one in our favor for a change! Perhaps Governor Schwarzenegger’s financial advisors have ramped up the importance of the gay dollar in a dismal state financial crisis? He does, after all, only have one year to clean up an enormous mess.

    And now, for some legal marijuana…

  5. TahTah says

    “So, theoretically, a gay Californian couple can go to Vermont, get married, come back to California, and get the protections of marriage? Um……OK.”

    I don’t think that’s what the bill says. If the gay couple were married in another at the time that gay marriage was legal in CA, then CA will recognize that marriage.

    If an out-of-state gay coupled married AFTER that time, then CA will treat the marriage as a domestic partnership.

  6. JimmyD says

    ATTMAY: Maybe if you lived in CA you’d see things a bit different. I think all you see is the once exciting action hero who has now, all of a sudden, decided to do something gay-friendly.

    Besides taking an active role in bankrupting the state, he’s responsible for closing a huge number of schools (and his big campaign thing was “Think of the Children”).
    He was also talking about vetoing Harvey Milk Day… and that was very recent.
    So no. He has not done more for gays than your so-called Gay Messiah 2.0.
    Oh… did I mention how Arnie was linked to Enron. I guess that’s not important since it wasn’t GayEnron.

  7. Wren says

    Regardless of the marriage mess, let’s be grateful that we now have an official Harvey Milk Day! I, like ATTMAY who posted before me, will be taking that day off every year as a personal day if not a designated holiday. Perhaps we should all make California a vacation destination for which to celebrate Harvey Milk Day each year.

  8. says

    You all shouldn’t get so happy over Harvey Milk Day. Why?

    Because it will be used as the standard response to the “what have you done for me lately?”-question.

    I don’t recall there being a Caeser Chavez day *before* latino and migrant workers gained their hard-fought rights. This is no different.

  9. John says

    It is ridiculous and absurd. While I have no objection to the concept of honoring Harvey Milk, the fact that the honor is being awarded by a state that banned same-sex marriage (twice) leaves a somewhat bitter taste in my mouth. It is offensive in the same way as white people throwing out the “we gave Martin Luther King a holiday” canard as an excuse to ignore the legitimate greivances of the black community.

    Well, isn’t that wonderful for government workers and grade school kids? But what does MLK Day have to do with housing discrimination, racial profiling, and the silent oppression of cultural imperialism?

    This holiday will, indeed, do little more than give the State of California another excuse to pat itself on the back for being ever so “progressive” and “liberal,” even while it continues to offer constitutionally enshrined second-class citizenship to gays and lesbians.

  10. Attmay says

    The voters banned same sex marriage. It’s their fault. Maybe California needs to become an absolute monarchy. They’re already proof that direct Democracy doesn’t work.

    No, I don’t live in California, but I do have relatives there, my father used to live there, and they’re not exactly cut off from the rest of the world. The legislature is as much to blame as the Governor for bankrupting the state. I never really liked any of Arnold’s movies, but anyone would have been better than Gray Davis, even Gary Coleman. Thanks for your condescending analysis, JimmyD.

    This must be the blog the White House read before its unnamed spokesman made that “internet left fringe” crack.

  11. JimmyD says

    ATTMAY: Better than Gray Davis? Arnold first decided to go for office because he said, “How hard could it be to balance the budget.” What more can I add?

    I am not being condescending. If I come off that way, maybe it’s because I find your shitty comment about our President to be condescending. The Messiah 2.0. Are you one of those Hillary supporters who just can’t cope with the fact that she lost (LOST!!!) by shooting herself in the foot? (I WAS a Hillary supporter until she turned Republican in her tactics.)
    I AM an angry California resident. As lovely as Harvey Milk Day sounds? it’s crumbs being thrown at us. It’s easy to criticize living outside the state.
    Where do YOU live? Utopia?

  12. Zach says

    Schwarzenegger vetoed a gay marriage bill in 2007, and he vetoed Harvey Milk Day last year. His administration has not been uniformly hostile towards gays, but it deserves no special credit.

    Pointing out reality doesn’t equal being on the fringe.

  13. Gianpiero says

    Carp about Milk Day if you want, but the other bill is important (not that the Governor deserves particular credit for it). A number of couples who had married in MA (the only other state at the time that allowed it), did not wed again in California because they were, you know, ALREADY married–and therefore were technically just following the rules (i.e., one marriage at a time). The supreme court last spring did not rule on the validity of those out-of-state marriages, noting that neither side had mentioned them in their briefs. Our opponents could, I suppose, challenge that part of the new law in court, but we’ll see if they do, given that it affects probably a (relatively) small number of couples and that the court upheld the in-California marriages unanimously.

    The second part of the law is also significant, in that it gives some assurance to couples married elsewhere that they are legally protected if they visit or move to California. Eventually we’ll win back the name as well, of course, but this says those couples are covered under California law in the interim.

  14. Chris says

    @Tahtah — Hank is right. If you get married in another state after 11/5/08 you are in a different class — somewhere between domestic partnership and marriage. You aren’t in a DP — but your marriage is not recognized with the word “marriage”. There are rights like not having to live at the same address, which you have to if you have a DP, that you would have if you got married in another state under this new law.

  15. PeterPorker says

    I, PeePee, don’t what to do!

    I, PeePee, hate Arnold Schwarzenegger – like I uniformly hate all Repubicans!

    Yet I, PeePee, cannot deny that Arnold Schwarzenegger just signed two very pro-gay pieces of legislation!

    I, PeePee, don’t want to think! I, PeePee, hate it when my ideological radar gets confused!

    Maybe I, PeePee, should criticize Bryan Batt because he said something mean about my doggie!

  16. Attmay says

    Chris, I wouldn’t live in Califuckia if you paid me; I’d rather live in Iraq. I live in a state that’s not going bankrupt because the voters used the proposition to spend, spend, spend. I’m not letting Schwarzenegger off the hook for not shutting off the spigot sooner, but the legislature and the voters are just as much to blame as he is. The whole “if you don’t live here STFU” bullshit is a non-argument, up there with the “chickenhawk” fallacy.

    California is a failed state. Michigan, this is you in the next five years.

    JimmyD, I fucking hate Hillary Clinton, but I hate Obama more. Guess who’s actually President and still gets the verbal BJs from you while he does NOTHING, but NOTHING for us. I find your President to be the one condescending to us, just like GayMessiah 1.0. I used to be a Democrat, but then I grew up.

    I have no President, and no Congress. Until they actually do something positive for MY rights, he is not MY President, and they are not MY representatives.

    And before you accuse me of being a birther (the next stale tactic of the Obamabots), I accept that The Zero was born in the USA. I’m just embarrassed by it.

    I await your ad hominem responses.

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