California’s governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto the state’s landmark bill that passed parliament earlier this week.
Schwarzenegger announced on Wednesday, California time, that he would reject the bill because it conflicted with a referendum in 2000 that opposed same-sex marriage.
The referendum led to the passage of Proposition 22, a law that amended state Family Code to state that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised in California.
The issue is waiting to go before the California Supreme Court following a decision by a San Francisco court in March to strike down both Proposition 22 and the state’s opposite-sex definition of marriage.
Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto [the same-sex marriage bill], Schwarzenegger’s press secretary, Margita Thompson, said in a statement.
We cannot have a system where the people vote and the legislature derails that vote.
Gay activists condemned Schwarzenegger’s veto plans, claiming he had betrayed gay and lesbian voters.
At present, the only US state where same-sex couples can marry is Massachusetts, where the state’s Supreme Court forced recognition of gay marriage last year.