Legislative Committee Casts Historic Vote To Ensure Rights And Benefits For All California Families

On April 21st, the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee voted 8
to 3 to pass the Marriage License Non-Discrimination Act
(AB1967) – marking the first legislative vote in the United States in
favor of marriage equality. Sponsored by Equality California – the
statewide gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group – and introduced
by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the measure would allow
California to marry same-sex couples.

"With one ordinary committee vote, California sent an extraordinary
message across the nation that only marriage provides full rights,
responsibilities and benefits for same-sex couples and their families,"
said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

"This is an incredible victory not only for California's lesbian and gay
couples and their children but for all people who believe in equal
rights," said Geoffrey Kors, Equality California's executive director.
"The Committee voted to return California to the definition of marriage
that existed before 1977, when the legislature changed it from a
contract between 'two people' to a contract between 'a man and a woman.'
That law is the only remaining law in California enacted by this body
that affirmatively discriminates against a protected group of
Californians."

"Even with California's extensive domestic partnership rights, this was
an historic statement that marriage is the only way to ensure full
rights and benefits for same sex-couples and their families," added
Jacques.

The bill now heads to the Appropriations Committee. If it passes the
committee, it would be considered by the full Assembly and then head to
the Senate.

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