Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Marriage in California, After All?

According to this article in today's Sacramento Bee, California might become the next state to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Openly gay CA Senator Mark Leno (pictured, left) has authored a bill, SB 54, that would allow same-sex couples who marry in other states and move to California to be recognized as a legally married couple.

There is one important point to note, however: if the couple was married before Prop 8 took effect, those couples would be considered legally married in California; if the couple was married after Prop 8 they would get all the same rights and benefits but would not get to use the word marriage. When Prop 8 was upheld by the CA Supreme Court in May, the court did not address how to treat out-of-state marriages, explaining in a footnote that none of the parties involved in lawsuits represented such interests.

Leno is arguing the Legislature's role should be to clarify the rights of same-sex couples who live in California but wed elsewhere, or couples who might move or travel here in the future. "Proposition 8 passes," Leno said. "But there are two men who live in San Francisco who pay their taxes, work and got married legally in Massachusetts. What are they? Legal strangers? Clearly, there is a legislative need to clarify this."

The proposal now has sponsors in the Assembly, where on July 9 it gained approval in that house's Judiciary Committee in a vote split along party lines – seven Democrats for and three Republicans against. The bill will go to the Assembly floor before the Senate hears it.


khall said...

Porterville City Council is considering a resolution opposing this bill. Porterville was the only city to pass a resolution endorsing Proposition 8 last fall.

khall said...

The Porterville City Council narrowly voted to bring back a resolution to oppose AB 54. The council will vote in the next couple of weeks. See the article at: http://www.recorderonline.com/news/bill-42349-state-marriage.html