This is no big surprise here in California considering the Democrats have a huge majority over the Republicans. And this is certainly something that will send Peter LaBarbera and Randy Thomasson over the edge just that bit further!
The Bill is SB43. Here is part of what it has to say:
AB 43, as amended, Leno. Gender-neutral marriage. Existing law provides that marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman. Existing law provides for the issuance of marriage licenses and imposes duties on county clerks in that connection, as specified. Existing law, enacted by initiative measure, further provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in this state. This bill would enact the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, which would instead provide that marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between 2 persons. The bill would make conforming changes with regard to the consent to, and solemnization of, marriage, and would make related findings and declarations. By adding to the duties of county employees, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.
SEC. 2. It is the intent of the Legislature that this act be interpreted consistently with the guarantees of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and of Section 4 of Article I of the California Constitution to free exercise of religion and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference.
SEC. 3. The Legislature finds and declares as follows: (a) Civil marriage is a legal institution recognized by the state in order to promote stable relationships and to protect individuals who are in those relationships. The institution of marriage also provides important protections for the families of those who are married, including not only any children or other dependents they may have, but also members of their extended families. (b) From 1850 to 1977, California’s marriage statutes used gender-neutral language, without reference to "man" or "woman," in providing that marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract to which the consent of the parties capable of making the contract is necessary. (c) In 1948, the California Supreme Court became the first state court in the country to strike down a law prohibiting interracial marriage. It was the only state supreme court to do so before the United States Supreme Court invalidated all those laws in 1967. The California Supreme Court held that "marriage is … something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men … Legislation infringing such rights must be based upon more than prejudice and must be free from oppressive discrimination to comply with the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws" (Perez v. Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 711, 714-715). The California Supreme Court explained that "the right to marry is the right to join in marriage with the person of one’s choice" (Id., at p. 715). (d) In 1977, the Legislature amended the state’s marriage law to replace the gender-neutral description of marriage with language specifically limiting marriage to a "civil contract between a man and a woman." The Legislature’s express purpose for this amendment was to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. The gender-specific description of marriage that the Legislature adopted in 1977 specifically discriminated in favor of heterosexual couples and discriminated against, and continues to discriminate against, same-sex couples. (e) Other governments have recognized that fundamental fairness requires that same-sex couples be permitted to marry on the same terms as heterosexual couples. Massachusetts, Canada, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and South Africa permit same-sex couples to marry. Israel recognizes the marriages of same-sex couples entered into in foreign jurisdictions.
There is more and you can read it at the link above. Isn’t it interesting that these fundamentalists go on and on about how marriage is described as between a man and a woman, but in California that was not so until 1977, when these very same fundamentalists changed the law to say that it was between a man and a woman–just to keep gays and lesbians from marrying.
Anyway, I am happy that it passed, and it will also pass in the California State Senate, but the Gov. has said he will veto it. But this is once again just a temporary setback. The state won’t always have a Republican governor, nor will it have a governor who claims that the people have spoken, but yet ignores the people when they do speak on other issues…