California state senators approved a bill today that would make same-sex marriage legal in the Golden State.
The 21-15 vote marked the first time a state legislative body in the U.S. has voted to OK homosexual matrimony.
AB 849 deletes the phrase “a man and a woman” from California’s marriage laws and replaces it with “two persons.”
The bill now goes to the state Assembly, and, if passed, to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for final approval.
The Alliance Defense Fund said the vote “slapped the faces” of the 61 percent of voters who passed Proposition 22 in 2000, which limited marriage to one man and one woman.
“Today’s action by the 58 percent of California senators who voted in favor of this bill shows they have a reckless disregard for the will of their constituents,” said Glen Lavy, senior vice president of ADF’s Marriage Litigation Center. “AB 849 flies in the face of the expressed will of the people of California as expressed at the ballot box.”
ADF said the California Legislature cannot lawfully overturn a voter-approved initiative.
Nevertheless, Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, an outspoken homosexual, amended an unrelated marine research bill already in committee to sneak the bill through for a vote.
The changes striking the marine research provisions and adding the same-sex “marriage” language can be seen here.
The Campaign for Children and Families has urged supporters to contact their legislators and ask them to oppose the legislation.
“How can God bless California when our lawmakers do this?” said the group’s director, Randy Thomasson.
The same-sex marriage bill fell short of passage in the Assembly in June, but proponents believe passage by the Senate will make Assembly members more apt to approve it.
The Assembly has until Sept. 9 to act on the bill.
Meanwhile, same-sex opponents in the state are hoping to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would go further than Proposition 22.
The Voters’ Right to Protect Marriage Initiative, according to its website, “protects everything about marriage – marriage licenses, marriage rights, and marriage under law – for one man and one woman. It’s the true-blue standard we must unite under to truly protect marriage.”