Arnold’s Not All Bad

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill yesterday that protects LGBT individuals from discrimination in state programs. According to

The Nondiscrimination in State Programs and Activities Act, sponsored by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, an out lesbian Democrat from Santa Monica, bans discrimination in state-operated or state-funded programs on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill, which faced strong opposition from conservative religious groups, will protect all Californians who use services such as food stamps, financial aid and police and fire protection.

This is a step in the right direction, I believe. Although Ahnold‘s record on LGBT issues has been mixed (in 2005 he vetoed a bill that would have legalized California same-sex marraiges), I am happy to see him finally recognize the need to give sexual orientation anti-discrimination status. Needless to say, the Christian Right is not amused.

Props to Ed Brayton.

7 thoughts on “Arnold’s Not All Bad

  1. Arnold also just signed into law rules limiting climate change in California. Can it be? A progressive Republicans? Perhaps the long national nightmare that started with the 1994 turn is over… and even Republicans will advance genuine ideas.

  2. I just read SB 1441, and it is merely an amendment to one section of the Government Code.  ALL it does is add “sexual orientation” to the list of characteristics already in the existing anti-discrimination policy, and this:

    (f) As used in this section, “race, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, or
    disability” includes a perception that a person has any of those characteristics or that the person is associated with a person who has, or is perceived to have, any of those haracteristics

    And the other two bills that the fundies are hysterical about are: 

    AB 606 – an amendment to the existing Safe Schools harassment & discrimination policy

    AB 1056 – a bill proposing a whopping $250,000 program to do a Tolerance Education Pilot Program (10 schools @ $25K each).  One recent amendment to the bill actually defines “tolerance” (which is what I’m sure the fundies are REALLY pissed about).

    (e) For purposes of this article, “tolerance” means attitudes and behaviors that convey respect toward individuals and groups, especially those individuals and groups that have been, and continue to be, systematically and historically marginalized. Tolerance does not mean a passive allowance or indulgence of the beliefs or practices of another individual. (emphasis added)

    Arnold’s approval rating’s still in the shitter, so I’m sure he’s looking to make brownie points where he can.  Unfortunately for the fundies I’m pretty sure that their political influence on a state level here in California isn’t likely to be anywhere near what it is with the fed, or with other states’ governments.  California’s just chock FULL of people who’ve been (and still are)  marginalized and/or discriminated against – and there’s a good number of ‘em with money AND power.

    And if religious schools get boned out of taking students receiving financial aid because they refuse to comply with discrimination laws, tough shit. If it’s so important to their belief system that they cling to “values” that include discrimination that’s against secular law, they’ll just have to make that sacrifice; and turn up the sales pressure on their congregation members to provide private scholarships for poor kids who need indoctrinating.

  3. The Christian right article makes foor some great reading:

    Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute (CRI), described the measure as not “even a veiled attempt at subtly advancing the radical homosexual agenda,” but “an outright, blatant assault on religious freedom.” She calls the bill “yet another attempt to prevent citizens with moral and religious principles from expressing their beliefs and educating their children according to those beliefs.”

    I can’t stop smiling.

  4. OB: … the fundies are hysterical about …

    Poor bastards; so much fear of the real world, so little power over the real world. LOL

    And if religious schools get boned out of taking students receiving financial aid because they refuse to comply with discrimination laws, tough shit.

    Fuck ‘em. smile
    Are there organisations that’re still allowed to overtly discriminate like the DoD?

  5. I was rather surprised to receive in the mail, shortly before the special election in California last November, a large and heavy envelope from the “California Recovery Team”.  It contained a picture (which now graces my workshop) of Arnie in heroic stance, and the legend “California Overseas Voters Make Your Voice Heard!”  I don’t want to know how much Republican money went for postage on the off chance that I would forsake my liberal principles.  But money alone will not save the Republicans in California this time, and Arnold knows it.

    I suspect that Schwarzenegger is, like Tom Lehrer’s Werner von Braun, a “man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience”.  He’s more interested in getting reelected than in toeing the party line, and his shift to the left is an attempt to increase his political fitness.

    But whatever- if the CO2 bill passes, that will be a promising first step against global warming.  And the “bill that gives homosexuals new and far-reaching powers” (as the Agape Press puts it) is also welcome and overdue.

  6. I’m happy.  This shows that not all republicians are religious, racist, oppressive fucktards.  Also, if that whole anti-dicsrimination law passes the religious right gets to see the gay ‘mafia’ gain more power, and maybe even supercede them!

    Yes, let the religious fundementalists run in fear should this come to pass, because their meaningless hate will end!  With any luck, California may become a stronghold for this political war, and as the Red Hot Chili Peppers said, California shall show her teeth.

    Thats from Dani California, cool song.

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