(Photo: Reuters / Jason Reed)
Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted in a new interview that he performed two same-sex marriages while serving in office, although he remains supportive of policies to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.
"I always said that I have nothing against people doing what they want to do. If they – if the – a couple wants to get married, they should get married. I personally always said that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I would never enforce my will on people. I always want people to make that decision. If they want to get married, let them get married," Schwarzenegger said in an interview with "60 Minutes," with the full interview to be shown on CBS Monday at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT.
While governor of California from 2003 to 2011, Schwarzenegger remained largely opposed to plans to change the traditional definition of marriage to include homosexual couples. In 2005, he said that he would veto Assembly Bill 19, which sought to include same-sex couples in the definition, and after Proposition 8 which preserved the above-mentioned definition was passed in 2008, he signed the Marriage Recognition and Family Protection Act (SB 54), which upheld the Proposition but recognized marriages of same-sex couples performed out-of-state prior to Nov. 5, 2008.
The former Republican governor and world-renowned action movie star was asked about Susan Kennedy, his chief of staff while governor, and asked whether he attended her wedding to another woman.
"I performed the wedding in the office," Schwarzenegger replied. "I married her in the office – in the governor's office," he added, noting that he had also married another assistant that used to work for him in a gay marriage ceremony.
The former governor steered away from giving a definitive answer on the issue, noting that he was not in favor of same-sex marriage, but at the same time believes gay couples still deserve the same ceremony as heterosexual couples.
"I don't have to be for gay marriage. I'm for that she gets the kind of wedding and the kind of ceremony that I had when I got married with Maria. That she happens to love a woman, and I am – a guy that loves a woman, that is two different things. It doesn't make any difference. She should still have her ceremony," the 65 year old politician explained.
In the same interview, Schwarzenegger noted that he was undecided on whether he would vote for GOP candidate Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama in the upcoming presidential election.
"Well, because I always wait until the time to vote, because I think that the real campaign starts now. Because everyone has negatives and everyone has positives. And I just keep an open mind, the Republican said, noting he will decide closer to Election Day on Nov. 6.