The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: 1050 Connecticut Ave NW,Suite 65500,Washington, DC 20035,Phone: 202-393-5177

Task Force Applauds Gov. Schwarzenegger for Signing into Law Three LGBT Rights Bills

Task Force first national organization to call for Harvey Milk Day


The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds California
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing into law three lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights bills. Schwarzenegger signed a
bill that marks May 22 as Harvey Milk Day, recognizing the
contributions of slain civil rights leader Harvey Milk. The Task Force
was the first national organization to support the Milk day of
recognition and recently called upon the U.S. Postal Service to issue a
stamp in honor of the gay leader.

Schwarzenegger also signed a bill granting same-sex couples married
before the passage of Proposition 8 full recognition as married spouses
in California, regardless of whether they married in California or out
of state. In addition, the new statute confirms that same-sex couples
married outside of California after Nov. 5, 2008, must be given all of
the rights, protections and responsibilities of married spouses under
California law, with the sole exception of the designation of

The governor also signed the "LGBT Domestic Violence Programs
Expansion Bill," which will leverage funding for same-sex domestic
violence services. He vetoed two bills: the "Equal ID Act," which would
have allowed transgender people to obtain new birth certificates, and
the "LGBT Prisoner Safety Act," which would have considered sexual
orientation and gender identity to safely house prisoners.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"We applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger for doing the right thing by
honoring a true civil rights hero. Harvey Milk gave hope to a
generation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. His
history is our history, and a day in his honor will preserve his legacy
for generations to come. It is a great tribute to mark a day in name of
an openly gay leader for his outstanding contributions to California
and the nation.

"We are also grateful that Gov. Schwarzenegger has signed the
'Marriage Recognition and Family Protection Act,' and the 'LGBT
Domestic Violence Programs Expansion Bill,' two measures that will
provide important protections and services to the LGBT community.

"We are disappointed by the vetoes of the 'Equal ID Act' and the
'LGBT Prisoner Safety Act.' We urge the state to keep working to ensure
LGBT people receive the rights and protections in these critical areas.

"We congratulate Equality California for spearheading the efforts on these critical bills."

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we've made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That's why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you. Join us!