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Political Partisans Find a New Battleground -- Father's Day

June 13, 2003|Nancy Vogel | Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Agreement in the Capitol can be a scarce commodity: Republicans and Democrats no longer even concur on whether and how to mark Father's Day.

Members of the California Legislature -- divided over spending, taxes and the state economy -- spent 15 minutes Thursday debating a resolution "urging all Americans to express their gratitude for the many contributions made by our fathers."

Drafted by Democrats, the resolution suggested that Americans pause to thank fathers "from all backgrounds, including single fathers, foster fathers, adoptive fathers, biological fathers, stepfathers, families headed by two fathers.... "

Assemblyman John Longville (D-Rialto) praised biological fathers, but added: "Let me tell you, some of us who have a child who is not biologically ours are just as much proud and just as much fathers as you are."

Republicans took offense. The broad language of the resolution, they said, slighted traditional fathers.

Assemblyman Tim Leslie (R-Tahoe City), for one, said he couldn't find mention of fathers like his own. And although Democrats argued that "biological fathers" were included, Republicans argued that they got short shrift.

The resolution passed 41 to 18. Democrats voted for it, Republicans against.

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