Today the California Assembly voted on Assembly Bill 19, a measure that would extend marriage to California's same-sex couples. While the first vote was unsuccessful, several Assemblymembers have not yet voted and the Assembly could bring the measure up for another vote this week.
"The fight to secure equal rights and responsibilities for all California families will continue," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "This measure has the broad support of a range of civil rights, labor and religious groups. Californians understand that the strongest families are those with strong protections. We applaud Assemblymembers Leno and Nuñez for their leadership on this meaningful and critical measure and we encourage legislators to continue to fight for A.B. 19."
Sponsored by Equality California and authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles, the bill passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 26, 2005, by a 6-3 vote, and by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 25 by a 13-5 vote. A broad range of groups support the bill, including the California State Conference of the NAACP the American Jewish Congress the United Church of Christ (Northern California/Nevada Conference) the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and more than 200 additional organizations.
"From local ministries to community centers and virtually every major civil rights organization in the state, A.B. 19 arrived to the floor with strong and united support," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California, the statewide advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. "Californians from across all communities understand that it takes hard work to maintain a strong relationship and raise a family. This legislation will make tens of thousands of relationships stronger by providing critical legal protections."
HRC and Equality California sent a joint mailing to the combined membership of both organizations as part of a coordinated strategy to engage GLBT and allied Californians to contact their legislators about the importance of this bill. HRC commends the leadership of Equality California on this historic vote and pledges its continued support to ensure that all California families are treated equally under the law.
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