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National News
National News
by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Schwarzenegger denounces effort to re-ban same-sex marriage
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has strongly denounced the attempt to amend the California Constitution to re-ban same-sex marriage.

The state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage May 15 and the weddings began on June 16.

Appearing on TV's Meet The Press on June 29, Schwarzenegger was asked: "You have a lot of propositions on the ballot again this fall. One of them would mean a constitutional ban on Gay marriages. Do you support that?"

"No, not at all," Schwarzenegger replied. "As a matter of fact, I think the Supreme Court made a decision there. It was apparently unconstitutional to stop anyone from getting married. It's like 1948, the interracial marriage, when the Supreme Court of California has, you know, decided it was unconstitutional and then later on the Supreme Court of the United States followed, I think 10 or 12 years later. So I think it is, it's good that California lead - is leading in this way."

"I personally believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman," the governor added. "But at the same time I think that my, you know, belief, I don't want to force on anyone else, so I think we should stay with the decision of the Supreme Court and move forward. There are so many other more important issues that we have to address in California. So I think to spend any time on this initiative I think is a waste of time."

It was not the first time Schwarzenegger had denounced the proposed amendment, but it was the first time he has done so on national television.

Obama opposes California marriage amendment
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has come out in opposition to the California ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to undo the state Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage.

Gay couples have been able to marry since June 16.

In a letter to San Francisco's Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, posted on the club's website July 1, Obama said: "I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states."

"I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks," Obama added.

Obama has said repeatedly in recent months that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and that he supports civil unions, but not marriage, for same-sex couples.

So, his congratulating Gay couples on getting married and his opposing efforts to limit Gay couples to civil unions seem to mark a change in his position. At least that's how many anti-Gay activists interpreted the letter.

Some Gay activists, on the other hand, wondered if Obama wants to have his cake and eat it too, depending on whom he's talking to.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain supports the push to amend the California Constitution.

"I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in my home state of Arizona," McCain said June 26. "I do not believe judges should be making these decisions."

In fact, Arizona does not have a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage - the ban is just an ordinary law - although a proposed amendment will be on the ballot November 4.

McCain's statement drew a rebuke from the GLBT group Log Cabin Republicans.

"His position on this amendment hurts Gay and Lesbian families," said President Patrick Sammon. "We ... do not believe he should have interjected himself into this state issue. Supporting this amendment is inconsistent with Sen. McCain's belief in federalism. Backing California's ban sends the wrong signal to the independents who will decide this election because it creates the impression that he's pandering to social conservative leaders."

Christians boycott McDonald's
The American Family Association called a boycott of McDonald's on July 3.

The organization is upset that the fast-food giant has joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, given it money, and put one of its executives on the group's board.

The AFA says its nearly 3 million supporters don't want to spend money at establishments that actively "promot[e] the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage."

Jesse Helms dies
Jesse Helms is dead.

The former U.S. senator from North Carolina - Congress' most vociferous homophobe ever - passed away July 4 at the Mayview Convalescent Center in Raleigh. He was 86.

Among numerous other outrages, Helms was responsible for the U.S. ban on HIV-positive foreign visitors and immigrants, which remains in force to this day.

A search of this reporter's archives found he had written 164 stories about Helms for Gay newspapers since 1985.

A few quotes from the late senator:

"I despise the abuse of the word 'Gay.' They are not Gay; they are repulsive."

"[Homosexuality is] deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct."

"I'm not going to comment on [activist Larry] Kramer. Remember, he and that ACT UP put a giant condom on my house."

"I don't hate homosexuals. I don't even know any homosexuals."

"There is a great big odor rising from the manner in which Congress is falling all over itself to do what the homosexual lobby is almost hysterically demanding."

"Homosexuals and Lesbians are disgusting people, marching in our streets demanding all sorts of things, including the right to marry each other."

With assistance from Bill Kelley
pictures: top - Arnold Schwarzenegger
 

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