Press Room

April 20, 2004

Category: Domestic Partners

HRC Applauds California Legislature’s Vote in Favor of Marriage Equality

'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.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign praised a California state committee for passing the first legislative vote in the United States in favor of marriage equality.

The California State Assembly Judiciary Committee voted 8 to 3 on Tuesday, April 20, to pass the Marriage License Non-Discrimination Act (AB1967). 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.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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