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Orders, orders, orders…

Feb
21
2004

The TV news was aflutter last night. Gov. Terminator had spoken on gay marriage! America’s most hetrosexual man had issued an edict! Man the ramparts! The culture war has come to town!
So, what did Schwarzenegger actually do after a week of headlines, merriment bordering on the silly, and more than 3,000 same sex marriages including Board of Equalization’s Carol Migden? He stood up in front of a group of Republicans gathering for their state convention in San Mateo — on a Friday night so he’d be sure to make the never-read Saturday papers — and he punted, long and deep to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Lockyer, a Democrat, once a good friend and supporter of the governor’s, got in hot water over some ill-considered comments about the groping stories circulating about the former movie star now politician. So maybe this is pay back? Could be. Could also be that by doing nothing more than giving a speech to the party faithful (most more conservative than he is) and writing a “strongly worded” letter – and taking his sweet time about that – Schwarzenegger is signaling his lack of interest in defending the state on this issue. Could be. In fact, probably is.
Schwarzenegger directed the A.G. to figure out what’s going on in San Francisco and put a stop to it. Pronto! Like last week! Only faster! If people keep getting married we could have anarchy! Domesticity is breaking out all over.
Only a few problems with this edict as a lapsed action hero might define it. One, Lockyer’s already working on the issue. As California A.G., his office is the one that gets to respond to the city’s suit against the state, not that that was Lockyer’s idea. Secondly, Schwarzenegger has no authority over Lockyer. Not because he’s a Democrat. Because he’s an elected official. He’s got his own gig, according to the state constitution, that same document San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is invoking as the city issues same-sex marriage licenses.

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