GOP BACKS KNIGHT'S GAY MARRIAGE BAN.Byline: Carol Ness San Francisco Examiner The San Francisco Examiner is a U.S. daily newspaper. It has been published continuously in San Francisco, California, since the late 19th Century. History
The beginning of the Examiner is a topic of some controversy.
Assemblyman W. J. "Pete" Knight has garnered support of three-fourths of his Republican colleagues in a drive to prohibit California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside the state.
While Knight, R-Palmdale, is enjoying support for AB 1982 in the Republican-controlled Assembly, he has yet to see a sponsor for the bill in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The bill is designed as a pre-emptive strike Noun 1. pre-emptive strike - a surprise attack that is launched in order to prevent the enemy from doing it to you
coup de main, surprise attack - an attack without warning against same-sex marriages, in light of the possibility that Hawaii may soon become the first state in the nation to allow gays to wed.
Gay and lesbian groups - including gay Republicans - are marshaling forces to battle the bill, which would prevent California from recognizing gay and lesbian marriages performed legally in other states.
California would become only the second state with such restrictions if Knight's bill becomes law. Utah became the first last year, acting in response to a Hawaiian court case that could result in gay marriages being legalized in that state next year.
Similar legislation is being considered in South Dakota South Dakota (dəkō`tə), state in the N central United States. It is bordered by North Dakota (N), Minnesota and Iowa (E), Nebraska (S), and Wyoming and Montana (W). and Washington, said Evan Wolfson Evan Wolfson (b. February 4, 1957) is a prominent American civil rights attorney and advocate. He is the founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry, a national non-profit organization working for marriage equality between gay and straight couples. of the Lambda Legal Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund) is a United States civil rights organization that focuses on gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Defense Fund, the New York-based gay group coordinating the effort to legalize le·gal·ize
tr.v. le·gal·ized, le·gal·iz·ing, le·gal·iz·es
To make legal or lawful; authorize or sanction by law.
le gay marriage.
Knight signaled his intention to invoke two powerful arguments - children and money - to try to win passage of his bill.
"It's not right to give same-sex couples the same economic benefits meant to aid families raising children," he said.
Same-sex marriages would exact a high price from businesses, taxpayers and families, Knight said, though he conceded he hadn't estimated the costs.
"The benefits that come with marriage - Social Security payments, insurance coverage, subsidized student housing - all of those things have an impact on society," he said.
Laurie McBride of the LIFE Lobby in Sacramento, the leading lobbyist for gays in the state capital, countered that some estimates showed Hawaii's economy could receive a $4 billion boost over five years if same-sex marriage was legalized.
Opponents of the bill also criticize conservatives' assumption that only married heterosexuals can raise children.
"I challenge Pete Knight to come up to San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden and walk with me down 24th Street in Noe Valley and see gay and lesbian couples pushing toddlers in strollers and buying their children ice cream cones," said Kate Kendall Kate Kendall was born on 27 July, 1973. Kendall is an Australia actress and would be best known for her role in the long running Nine Network Australian Drama Stingers.
Kate studied at the Adelaide Centre for Performing Arts. , legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a non-profit, public interest law firm that litigates precedent-setting cases at the trial and appellate court levels, advocates for equitable public policies affecting the LGBT community, provides free legal assistance to LGBT .
The San Francisco-based group is one of dozens of gay organizations banding together to fight the bill.
Lambda's Wolfson, co-counsel on the Hawaii marriage case, said Knight was "trying to bolt the doors in California before the public has even begun discussing the issue of gay marriage."
California was the first state to strike down laws against interracial marriage Interracial marriage occurs when two people of differing races marry. This is a form of exogamy (marrying outside of one's social group) and can be seen in the broader context of miscegenation (mixing of different races in marriage, cohabitation, or sexual relations). , Wolfson said, acting two decades before the U.S. Supreme Court banned such laws in 1967.
"To see an Assembly member trying to stir up this pot of discrimination when California helped lead the way to end (past) discrimination is very distressing," he said.
He predicted similar efforts in more states, saying: "The radical right has a blueprint out there. Its real goal is to do fund raising and elect candidates by using gay people as a whipping boy whipping boy
surrogate sufferer for delinquent prince. [Eur. Hist.: Brewer Note-Book, 942]
See : Substitution ."
California's Log Cabin Republicans The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) is a federated gay and lesbian political organization in the United States with state chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C. The group consists of gays and lesbians who are supporters of the Republican Party. , the main gay GOP group, accuses Knight of using the issue to bolster his chances in a tight primary race for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Don Rogers, R-Palmdale.
It calls the marriage bill "shortsighted short·sight·ed
1. Nearsighted; myopic.
2. Lacking foresight.
shortsight and a waste of California tax dollars."
"This is a very important issue for us," said Steve Fong, president of the group's San Francisco chapter. "We definitely will be lobbying on this issue."
Knight said his bill will be heard first in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, probably in late February.
He said it was too early to assess the bill's prospects in the Democratic Senate, because letters seeking support just went out Tuesday.
McBride, of the LIFE Lobby, said the bill could well be approved.
"In the Republican-controlled Assembly, this bill has a very excellent chance of passing," she said. "And I could see it passing through the Democrat-controlled Senate, because there are a number of conservative-minded (Democrats) who could be peeled off to vote for this bill."
The Hawaiian case, in which the state's Supreme Court said the state had to prove it had a "compelling interest" in discriminating against gays seeking to marry, is headed back to trial court for a hearing this summer.
The case will ultimately wind up before the Hawaiian Supreme Court, where no decision on legalizing gay marriage is expected until 1997.