Good on you, Governor Schwarzenegger. He has signed two important bills.
It ain't perfect. On TG rights, he still lags. But you know? This is a start. A Republican governor voted for equality. And that's something.
First, after getting a veto from the governor last year, the state will now declare May 22 Harvey Milk Day (not a day-off though). The recognition for a man who was dedicated to pushing for equal rights for himself and his community is an important marker for the fight for full equality for the LGBT community. It does not win us any additional rights, but it does give the state a chance to pause and reflect on a man who gave everything for the struggle.
On the other hand, Sen. Leno's SB 54 does have an immediate and real impact that goes beyond symbolism. The bill would grant marriages performed outside of the state before Prop 8 was passed full marriage status, just as the same-sex marriages performed between June and November. Marriages that were performed after that Nov. 5 date will get all the rights and benefits of a California marriage save the moniker "marriage."
Apparently Arnold saw the confusion brought about by the situation that Californians who had previously been married in, say Massachusetts, were in. They were told that they didn't need to renew their marriage, but the law was entirely unclear on the issue.
And the sad thing? This Republican Governor has a better record on gay rights than our president. Please, someone, explain why gay Americans are better off today than 18 months ago?