Scroll To Top

DP bill sparks
personal attacks in California's statehouse

DP bill sparks
personal attacks in California's statehouse

Debate over a bill that would let registered domestic partners in California file joint state tax returns devolved into a shouting match as state lawmakers in Sacramento accused each other of intolerance and one Republican said his gay colleagues live a deviant lifestyle. Discussion of the bill Wednesday began to heat up when Republican assemblyman Jay La Suer called the measure "part of the homosexual agenda." He said it would negatively affect California's children by teaching them "that this is an acceptable lifestyle." Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, a Democrat, countered that "the real homosexual agenda is simple equality and freedom from discrimination." He said the bill would move California closer to that goal. Existing state law allows married couples to file joint or separate tax returns. The bill, sponsored by state senator Carole Migden, a Democrat who is one of six openly gay members of the legislature, would extend that same right to registered domestic partners. California bans same-sex marriage but allows same-sex couples to register domestic partnerships, state-recognized unions conferring most of the same state-level legal rights as marriage, such as access to family benefits at work and the ability to adopt children as a couple. The debate took a personal turn when Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, a Democrat, said she felt personally offended by La Suer's remarks, telling him he was "castigating me and mine." After La Suer argued that he had every right to disagree with Goldberg's lifestyle, efforts to bring the discussion back to the specifics of the bill were thwarted by an outburst from Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy, a Republican. "What you seek in society is acceptance," he said to Goldberg, addressing his comments to her and the other two openly gay members of the assembly. "But your lifestyle is abnormal. It is sexually deviant." The Democrats immediately broke for a caucus meeting, an apparent effort to cool the rhetoric. When the session resumed, Mountjoy apologized if he had personally offended anyone, saying his remarks were an effort to defend his values and principles. The bill, which had previously passed the state senate, later was approved by a 44-28 vote, largely along party lines. It now returns to the senate for a final vote. Migden's bill was one of several gay rights measures getting attention Wednesday. The other bills are designed to promote tolerance and to prohibit discrimination against or negative portrayals of gay people, bisexuals, and transsexuals within public schools and organizations that receive government funding. James Dobson, chairman of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, urged listeners of his daily radio broadcast to call and e-mail Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger demanding a veto of four other bills that relate to gay and lesbian issues. Dobson described those bills as having the potential to prohibit critical or biblically based discussion of homosexuality in various parts of the public sector. "If these bills are signed into law, who knows what the liberal courts in California will be able to make out of this in the years to come?" Dobson said in a statement. "There goes the next generation of children straight into the arms of the homosexual activist community." A spokeswoman for Schwarzenegger, Margita Thompson, said the governor signs and vetoes legislation "based on what is in the best interest of Californians. The governor believes all Californians are entitled to full protection under the law." (AP)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Be sure to follow Advocate on your favorite social platforms!


Want more news, top stories, and videos? Check out the all NEW Advocate Channel!
Your 24/7 streaming source for equality news and lifestyle trends.
Click this link right now:

Latest Stories