California Poised To Remove Anti-Gay Language From State’s Marriage Laws

The California state senate recently approved a bill that would remove language from the state’s Family Code defining marriage as only “between a man and a woman.” The bill (SB1306) would use gender-neutral language calling marriage as “a civil contract between two persons” and also open the door for California to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

CaliThese changes would bring the states laws into accordance with the recent Supreme, federal and state court decisions affirming the right of same-sex couples to wed.

The SF Gate reports:

“In June, the U.S. Supreme Court left in place a lower court judge's order striking down as unconstitutional a ballot measure known as Proposition 8, the 2008 voter initiative that outlawed same-sex marriages in California. A 5-4 court majority ruled that the ban's sponsors lacked authority to defend the measure on appeal, though the justices did not directly address the ban's constitutionality.

Marriages resumed in late June after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay it had imposed on the lower court ruling. The state Supreme Court dismissed a final challenge by the ban's backers in August.”

The SF Gate adds that Republican Senator Jim Nielsen was the only Republican to speak against the bill and that in the California Assembly, only Republicans voted against the bill while two Republicans — Anthony Cannella of Ceres and Ted Gaines of Roseville — voted for it.