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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

California: One Signature to Marriage Equality 

The California Assembly late last night passed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Protection Act, which provides for marriage equality, while specifically stating that no religious group opposed to same sex marriage has to provide the ceremony.

The state senate already passed the legislation, so now it awaits Gov. Schwarzenegger's signature. Last year the governor stated that marriage equality would be "fine by me" if the state courts ruled on it or the legislature passed it.

His press secretary however, yesterday responded to the legislation and inquiries about whether the governor would sign it, by stating,
"The governor believes that the people spoke when they voted in Proposition 22,'' which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, Thompson said. "t's now before the courts, which is where the governor believes it belongs. He will uphold whatever the court decides.''

That doesn't sound like "fine by me." That sounds more like, okay, the legislature passed it, but let's hold off as long as possible by waiting for a court decision.

When Massachusetts courts ruled on marriage equality, the big push was that they were activist judges who should leave the lawmaking to the legislature - the elected representatives of the people. Now that California's elected representatives of the people have done their job, now it's up to the courts?

A proposed constitutional amendment to bar both marriage equality and the state's domestic partnership registry is making the rounds in California. I guess that way even if both the courts AND the legislature decide on equality, those who oppose it still have a chance to push their nonequality agenda.

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