Press Room

July 24, 2005

Category: Domestic Partners

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Devastate California Families

'All families should be treated equally under the law with the same protections, rights and responsibilities,' said HRC's Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today urged California voters to reject a proposed ballot measure that would deny crucial health insurance, medical leave rights, hospital visitation and other protections and responsibilities for hundreds of thousands of California families.

The attorney general's office today approved the title and summary of one such amendment that can now be circulated to gather the signatures necessary to qualify it for the ballot in 2006.

"All families should be treated equally under the law with the same protections, rights and responsibilities," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "We should be strengthening, not weakening, the existing safety net for California families."
The ballot measure would amend the state's constitution to repeal existing rights, benefits and responsibilities for legally recognized domestic partners and permanently ban marriage protections for same-sex couples.

"Stripping basic rights for some California families would unravel the crucial fabric of personal responsibility that keeps our state strong," added Solmonese. "The Human Rights Campaign, Equality For All and fair-minded Californians will work together to defeat this discriminatory initiative."

If the measure passed it would have far-reaching consequences such as requiring a tax increase on property jointly owned by unmarried couples, including senior citizen couples, upon the death of either partner. It would deny health insurance, hospital visitation, inheritance rights and medical leave to thousands of diverse Californian families.

"The impact of this amendment would be devastating to hundreds of thousands of California families by taking away nearly all the responsibilities and protections currently afforded to legally recognized domestic partners," said Sid Voorakkara, interim campaign manager at Equality for All. "Californians have a long history of rejecting discrimination and we are confident they will reject this attempt to single out one group of Californians for permanent second-class status."

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.