FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 6, 2005
(San Francisco, CA, September 6, 2005) — On September 6, 2005, the California legislature made history by becoming the first state legislature in the nation to pass equal marriage rights legislation for same-sex couples. Assembly Bill (AB) 849, The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, passed the California Senate by a 21-15, and passed the Assembly by a 41-35 vote. AB 849 was authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno (D-Francisco), Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles), and 30 co-authors including the LGBT Legislative Caucus, and was sponsored by Equality California, California's statewide LGBT advocacy organization. If the bill had been signed into law, California would have become the first state in the country to pass legislation allowing same-sex couples the equal right to marry. Today, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.
Statement from Kate Kendell, Executive Director of The National Center for Lesbian Rights
"We are disappointed and angry that the Governor failed to stand up for full fairness for same-sex couples and our families," said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "This was an opportunity to demonstrate real leadership and a true commitment to justice and the Governor was not up to the challenge. We do recognize and appreciate that the Governor stated he did not support current efforts to roll back domestic partner protections, but that is not enough. He must use the full force of his office to fight any such attempts. This was an opportunity to be a hero and an uncowed leader and the Governor blinked."
For more information, please visit Equality California's website at www.eqca.org
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.