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Monday, October 12, 2009

Terminator didn't disappoint....well not completely!

Just when you thought the Terminator was done, Act 2 was set to begin, stage left. Seriously, The GOP governor of California vowed to ensure that the creation of a State holiday named for Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician to be elected to office in California. Last year the Governor vetoed such a day and had threatened to do so gain this year.

Well he did it. Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that will call on the state to do a few things so let me break it down for you! (ONE)Recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who were legally married in other states during the brief time that same-sex marriages were legal in California. So lets get this right, although same sex marriages are no longer legal in Cally, the Gov has made it possible to acknowledge marriages that took place in other states during the same time California allowed it.

(TWO)He also approved legislation to expand services for LGBT survivors of domestic violence. Now that's huge! State resources for the gay communnity that protects those involved in domestic violence, lol, and cat-fights.

Schwarzenegger did veto the "Equal ID Act," which would allow transgender individuals to obtain revised birth certificates certifying their current gender. But honestly, thats crazy anyway, but thats just me talking. He also vetoed a "LGBT Prisoner Safety Act," which would have called for gender identity and orientation to be considered when housing prisoners.

Supporters wanted to mark May 22 as an annual Harvey Milk Day. They had pinned their hopes on the attention garnered by the film "Milk" late last year after Schwarzenegger’s previous veto. But the governor countered Milk’s accomplishments were not well known enough outside the Bay Area to merit a holiday.

"The Harvey Milk Day bill marks the first time in the nation’s history that a state will officially recognize and celebrate the contributions of an openly LGBT person with an annual day of special significance," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California. "Californians will now learn about Harvey’s amazing contributions to the advancement of civil rights for decades to come. He is a role model to millions, and this legislation will help ensure his legacy lives on forever."

Kors expressed gratitutde to the Governor for signing these measures into law "and rising above partisan politics to improve the lives of LGBT Californians."

"The Marriage Recognition and Family Protection Act" calls on the state to recognize same-sex marriages conducted in 2008 outside the state before voters enacted Proposition 8 ended marriage equality in California. Listen, thats huge. Let's not overlook the small accomplishments. This is a step-step process.

"When California offered marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2008, spouses who were already married in another state or country were prohibited from re-marrying in California," said the bill’s author, Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). "Now those couples and their families are in limbo because their rights and protections under law are not clear. This new law will ensure that same-sex couples are protected by existing California law that recognizes all marriages equally, regardless of where they are performed."

Harvey Milk Day is largely ceremonial. State offices won’t close, although schools are encouraged to provide information about Milk on that day. More immediate and concrete results may be seen from the "LGBT Domestic Violence Programs Expansion Bill", which will fund LGBT-specific domestic violence programs throughout the state through a $23 fee tacked onto domestic partnership registrations. The bill also modifies the requirements funding seekers must meet.

"Given the shortage of adequate care for our community," said bill author Assemblyman John Pérez (D-Los Angeles), "I am thrilled that this legislation will help ensure that all LGBT survivors of domestic violence will have increased access to culturally competent care and resources."