“Don’t Give Up” Says the Governator

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger offered a word of encouragement and hope to gays and lesbians across the state of California who are protesting the passage of Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that intended to outlaw same-sex marriage in California.

“It’s unfortunate, obviously, but it’s not the end,” Schwarzenegger told CNN.

You can read the story in the Los Angeles Times.

However, I want to point out that the story describes the governor’s thinking as having “evolved,” saying that he was previously in favor of the marriage ban initiative.

I’m noticing this kind of reporting more and more (and yes, even in publications as venerable as the LA Times). I think of it as “bundling”… taking a couple of statements or actions and then putting them together in a way that may misrepresent the truth.

For the record, Schwarzenegger did refuse to sign two legislative actions that would have approved gay marriage, effectively handing the decision off to the State Supreme Court. And in a press conference he said “I personally see marriage as between a man and a woman,” but he didn’t say he was in favor of the initiative, or in opposition to same-sex marriage. He made a personal statement with no implication it colored his actions as governor. (You can see the video here).

There was a time when we could rely on journalists — and their editors — to provide some degree of discrimination and neutrality, but in the wake of wide-spread staffing cutbacks in newsrooms across the country, this seems to be falling by the wayside more and more.

I’m predicting that the time isn’t far off when the LGBT community will realize it owes Schwarzenegger a tremendous debt of gratitude for putting this decision in the hands of the court, a place where more protection of civil rights can be offered than in legislation.

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