It’s been a bad day for Knight.

Republican State Senator Pete Knight issued a challenge Monday to the Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003, previously AB 205, signed into law by our very own Gray Davis on Sept. 19. The new partner law provides domestic partners with pretty much all the same state rights and responsibilities as a civil marriage would allow, minus the some 1,000 rights and protections granted federally in a civil marriage.

Pious Pete has a serious problem with the new law, understandable considering this is the man who in 2000 spearheaded Prop 22 – a piece of legislation that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman only. Invoking images of plagues and pedophiles, Pete saw Prop 22 pass and feels the new partner law is an unconstitutional attack on the institution of marriage.

Too bad the new law mentions nothing about marriage. Too bad Petey feels that all us homos and lesbos are out to ruin his fine, Christian way of life. Too bad Pete has disowned his gay son, a Gulf War veteran.

Things just haven’t been going Pete’s way lately.

On the other hand, things are looking good for California queers.

In the past month, Gov. Davis has John Hancocked three new laws, all beneficial, that affect queers in the state. On Sept. 9, Davis signed a bill that protects foster children and caregivers from discrimination based on a whole slew of things, including sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV/AIDS status. In the previous week, Davis signed the Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Bill, which protects transgender individuals from workplace and housing discrimination.

So now, queers can enjoy many of the rights attributed to loving, caring monogamous couples, as well as have solid legal recourse when people like Pompous Pete decide to shred the Constitution and annihilate the separation of church and state.

Things are definitely looking good, but there’s still a long road to go.

We still, after all, have a president who feels a federal version of Prop 22 needs to be cut and pasted into the Constitution. While it seems a majority of U.S. citizens are not in favor of such an amendment, supporters of same-sex marriage are still a minority. For some reason, you’re still not supposed to ask and never tell. Even with all the lame commercialization of white gay men on such ground-breaking, look-we’re-cool-with-the-gay shows such as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” “Boy Meets Boy” and – sigh – “Will & Grace,” attitudes toward queers remain barely favorable.

With an election due in a little more than a year and queer rights becoming one of the big issues of debate, now is the time more than ever to get involved and show support. It saddens the heart to hear individuals say how marching or protesting isn’t their thing and that’s why they don’t get involved.

Help can come in many forms, from letter writing to donations of time, energy, ideas, planning and simply getting involved with local organizations, such as, but not limited to, the Queer Student Union, Associated Students Queer Commission, Queer People of Color or UCSB’s Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity. If you can’t find a group to suit your needs, then start your own.

I, for one, would like to keep pissing on Pete Knight’s parade.

Former Nexus opinion editor Steven Ruszczycky is a longtime Isla Vista resident and jobless homo.