California Legislature Approves Gay Marriage Bill

Yesterday evening, September 6, 2005, the California State Assembly voted 41-35 in support of marriage equality bill AB 849 which would allow for same sex couples in California to legally marry.  This makes California the first state to pass marriage equality legislation through our entire legislative body.  The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, where it could potentially be vetoed or signed into law.

Yesterday a spokeswoman for the Republican Governor said that Schwarzenegger believes the issue should be decided by the courts, not by his signature on the legislation. "He will uphold whatever the court decides," spokeswoman Margita Thompson said. (www.365gay.com)  A state appellate court is currently considering appeals of a lower court ruling that overturned California laws banning recognition of gay marriages.

The bills author, Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) asked the Assembly during the debates to “Do what we know in our heart….Make sure all California families will have the same protection under the law.” (www.365gay.com)  Currently in California, legally married heterosexual couples enjoy over 1,000 rights and protections not offered to domestic partners.

Geoffrey Kors, Executive Director of Equality California said yesterday, “Today in California, love conquered fear, principle conquered politics and equality conquered injustice.  For the first time in our nation’s history, the people’s elected representatives have taken a stand to protect all families and ensure equality for all.  We are counting on Governor Schwarzenegger to lift the burden of discrimination from hundreds of thousands of California families by becoming the first governor in the nation to sign legislation ending discrimination against same-sex couples obtaining a civil marriage license.  His legacy will in large part be based on whether he signs or vetoes this historic civil rights legislation.”

It’s time for our community and our allies to voice our support for the bill to the office of Governor Schwarzenegger.  Here’s how you can help with one phone call and 3 buttons (courtesy of Keri at www.loveisloveislove.com)  

Call 916-445-2841 (governor)

Press 2 to comment on legislation
Press 1 for AB-849
Press 1 to support AB-849

Contact the writer at:  Nathan@gayfresno.com

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