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Arnold Schwarzenegger and the status quo
Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
September 25, 2006
This might come as news to some readers, currently there is an election taking place. Governor Schwarzenegger is seeking to retain his job in Sacramento. Democrat Phil Angelidies, Peter Camejo of the Green Party, and Libertarian Art Olivier are seeking to replace him.
I'm sensing a trend in favor of the status quo, so Arnold should prevail. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
As a Green I will of course for Peter Camejo, due to the Green Party's respect for diversity and key values of ecological wisdom, social justice and equal opportunity. This too might come as news, but Peter Camejo stands little chance in November. As do all other candidates, save one.
The only candidate that could possibly defeat Arnold is Democrat Phil Angelidies, and he comes across as a Gray Davis wanna-be.
At question is who would better advance the interests of the Gay and Lesbian Californians.
Going on line I decided to find out. I call this the Google test. The campaign website of the different candidates, expected to be superficial at best, would be telling on how they. Arnold's reelection site has no mention of gay and lesbians or the issues as a cultural minority.
Equal rights for all Californians did not seem to be on Governor Schwarzenegger's agenda. I Goggled on, advanced search, Schwarzenegger Homosexual Policy. Bingo.
In August Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Nondiscrimination in State Programs and Activities Act, SB 1441. Sponsored by Equality California (EQCA) and authored by Senator Sheila Kohl (D-Santa Monica), SB 1441 bans discrimination in state operated or funded programs on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
That act alone should factor heavily as voters make their decisions.
Governor Schwarzenegger, despite disrespecting the gay and lesbian community by vetoing AB 849, the gender-neutral Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, has signed more pro-GLBT laws than any other Governor in California history.
Next I Googled the Angelidies website, like Schwarzenegger he too failed to mention equal rights for all Californians as a priority. Not surprising Phil Angelidies is endorsed by democratic lawmakers, both gay and straight, State Senator Christine Kehoe included.
Elected California State Treasurer in 1998, his pro-GLBT resume is naturally underdeveloped. The truth be known, I believe Senator Kuehl, the author of SB1441, is a better choice for governor than the man she is endorsing. As an environmentalist I could never endorse Phil Angelidies, due to his actions as a private real estate developer.
Another developer, and former Mayor of Bellwater, Ca. Libertarian candidate Art Olivier, would support the legalization of same sex marriage if elected as a matter of privacy.
Peter Camejo, who is not a developer, however is very clear. Advocating equality for people of all sexual orientations, including equal civic rights for same-sex couples in his legislative agenda, Camejo and the Green party hold the progressive position in the 2006 governor race.
For the Gay and Lesbian community the choice is not clear. What is clear is the importance of all Californians in the LGBT community to vote in November and letting their votes be known. Voting makes a difference at a time when others are trying to limit the rights of gay Californians through legislative means.
As things stand, Governor Schwarzenegger signing of SB 1441, the Nondiscrimination in State Programs and Activities Act proves the status quo is continuing to move towards full equality for all Californians.
Could more be done? Absolutely. The question is will Schwarzenegger be given another term to do so?