The bill AB 43 recently passed through California legislation, making it the California lawmakers’ third attempt at legalizing same-sex marriages.
Assembly Member Mark Leno of San Francisco wrote the bill to amend Section 300 of the Family Code, replacing the previous definition of marriage as a union between “a man and a woman” with the union of “two persons.”
Ali Bay for Equality California (EQCA) said, “We are pleased the Legislature
passed AB 43 by a larger margin than it did in 2005, showing that the people of California support fairness and equality for all Californians. All couples deserve the choice to marry and receive the … benefits that only marriage affords.”
Bay added that EQCA launched an online petition and received 10,000 signatures in the first five days. The organization will deliver the signatures to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, urging him to sign the legislation.
Schwarzenegger released no comment on whether he will sign the bill.
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 849, a bill with the same agenda as AB 43. It was also authored by Leno in 2005.
According to the California Progress Report, an online forum for California Progressives, the governor said that gays and lesbians should have the same rights that heterosexual couples possess. In deference to Proposition 22, he could not legalize same-sex marriage.
Proposition 22 states that “only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
“In a way it’s uplifting because there are people trying to change obvious flaws, obvious confrontation points in the system,” said freshwoman Elisabeth Long.
“It’s depressing that there are still people against something that is so blatantly necessary,” she added.
On Sept.7, Benjamin Lopez, a lobbyist for the Traditional Values Coalition, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he does not agree with the new bill.
“We see AB43 as yet another heavy-handed, blatant attempt for Mark Leno and Co. to skirt the current restrictions in law that prevents same-sex marriages in California,” Lopez said.
Lopez fears that legalizing gender neutral marriage would lead to other practices like pederasty, sadomasochism and necrophilia being accepted in U.S. culture.
On Sept. 1, Dennis Mountjoy, a Republican representative of Monrovia, told the Capitol Weekly News that he approved the bill despite his conservative viewpoint and politics.
“They want my children to be taught that this [same-sex marriage] is OK, that it is natural. I’m here to tell you that it’s not OK,” Mountjoy said.
He said that the new bill did not create a problem, however. “I didn’t see it as giving special rights to [the gay] community.”
“It’s a sign of progress that this is still proposed. And it’s a matter of time before the governor has to listen to us,” said freshwoman Veronica Beatty.