(CNSNews.com) - A pro-family group claims California Gov. Gray Davis demeaned the Sept. 11 tragedy by signing two bills giving special privileges to the domestic partners of homosexuals on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Randy Thomasson, executive director of Campaign for California Families, said Davis took advantage of the anniversary to tie what some call homosexual rights to patriotism.
"Our rogue governor is slapping patriotism and the people of California in the face with his covert homosexual-marriage agenda," said Thomasson. "Shame on you, Gray Davis. You can't push us down the path of homosexual marriage and dress it up in the American flag. It just won't fly."
"The governor signed the bills because he believes it's in the best interests of this state," said Davis spokesman Russ Lopez.
"California is a forward-thinking state. People who live here are tolerant, and by and large they agree with this legislation. And so the rhetoric put out by the Campaign for California Families, there's no sense in responding to that, because all they will reach is intolerance and we won't go there. California is very different," Lopez added.
The first bill, AB 2216, introduced by Democratic Assembly Member Fred Keeley, allows domestic partners to inherit a partner's property in the event the partner dies without a will, according to Davis' website.
In California, if someone dies and does not have a will, they are considered to have died "intestate," the website explains, thereby forcing the state to decide how to dispose of the property through the law of intestate succession. This law determines who is eligible to inherit the property, what share of the property they are awarded and their priority on the list of successors.
AB 2216 places domestic partners who are registered with the secretary of state on the list.
"This is an urgent matter for those Californians who lost a partner on September 11 because many of those victims did not leave behind a valid will," Davis said. "Without the right to inherit property, the surviving partner faces undue economic hardship, even eviction, even if the property was jointly purchased."
"If you die without a will, currently if you're married, your spouse gets everything. If you are a homosexual domestic partner [and] die without a will, your domestic partner does not get treated the same as a spouse. It will go to probate and there'll be a discussion," Thomasson told CNSNews.com.
"But see these guys [homosexuals] claim to be responsible ... they claim, 'Oh yeah, we're responsible people. We filled out our claims for domestic partnerships'... But they're not so responsible to do this will here. They just want to grab another right of marriage," he added.
"Governor Davis has pandered to the liberal special interests again," said Thomasson. "Last year, Gray Davis used the September 11 terrorist attacks as a cover story for signing AB 25, which undermined marriage by awarding over a dozen marriage rights to gay couples. Now he's pandering again."
Another bill Davis signed Tuesday was SB 1575, by state Sen. Byron Scher, which allows domestic partners to transfer property in their will.
"It adds domestic partners to the marriage and family exemption," Thomasson said. "If you're married ... you can write the will for your spouse. So it's just another part of the law which is [reserved for] marriage and family and it's gonna now be domestic partner too."
He said the bill is unnecessary because anyone can will their possessions to someone else.
Lopez explained that each of the bills strengthens the other.
"They're similar ... they just all beef each other up. AB 25 is another piece of legislation that deals with domestic partner rights," he said.
AB 25, which Davis signed on Oct. 14, 2001, awards more than a dozen marriage rights to homosexual couples.
On Sept. 6, Davis signed a bill (AB 2777) for Santa Barbara County, Marin County, and Los Angeles County to provide survivor benefits to same-sex domestic partners or heterosexual domestic partners over age 62, whose partnerships are registered with the secretary of state.
See Earlier Stories:
Riordan and Davis Blasted For Not Protecting Marriage
Family Group Calls on Davis to Veto 'Harmful' Bills
Bill Expanding Homosexual Rights Advances in California