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Schwarzenegger
signs, vetoes gay rights bills

Schwarzenegger
signs, vetoes gay rights bills

California governor Aronold Schwarzenegger continued sending mixed messages to LGBT Californians when he signed into law three gay-positive bills but vetoed another.

On Thursday the Republican governor signed into law a bill that would make it more difficult for defendants to use the "gay panic" defense. The brutal 2002 murder of transgender teen Gwen Arajuo spurred the new legislation, called the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act.

"The enactment of this bill will help keep bias and hatred out of our courtrooms," said the bill's author, Democratic assemblywoman Sally Lieber, in a statement. "All Californians--regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or ethnicity--should be treated fairly by our criminal justice system."

Schwarzenegger also signed a bill that encourages equal treatment of gays and transgender people in political campaigns. The measure, called the Fair Employment and Housing Act, amends the voluntary pledge signed by candidates and campaign committees to fairly treat LGBT people.

The third pro-gay bill Schwarzenegger signed was the Civil Rights Housing Act of 2006, which will change housing laws to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Safe Place to Learn Act was vetoed by the governor. The bill would have strengthened existing state law by clearly prohibiting the bullying of LGBT students in California schools.

"Some California schools are choosing to ignore the current law prohibiting discrimination and harassment of LGBT students, and to veto a bill that would help enforce that law is shameful," said Geoff Kors, executive director of the gay advocacy group Equality California, in a statement. (The Advocate)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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