About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
Who is a Christian?
Shared beliefs
Handle change
Bible topics
Bible inerrancy
Bible harmony
Interpret Bible
Beliefs, creeds
Da Vinci code
Revelation, 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions


About all religions
Main topics
Basic info.
Handling change
Confusing terms
World's end
True religion?
Seasonal topics
More info.

Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Gay marriage
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo


Bill AB-19 reactivated as Bill AB 849:
"Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act."

Sponsored link.


Bill AB 19, the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act" was passed by the Assembly's Judiciary and Appropriations Committees. However, the bill died on 2005-JUN-02, after failing to obtain a majority. Several Democrats either voted against the bill or abstained. It would have extended marriage to same-sex couples. The bill was later reactivated as Bill AB 849. It was passed by the legislature, but vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.

Bill is passed by the Committee:

On 2005-AUG-25, it was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 7 to 4. The nearest precedence occurred in 1948 -- almost six decades ago -- when the California legislature voted to allow inter-racial couples to marry.

  • Senator Dean Florez, Democrat, joined three committee Republicans to vote against the bill. Assemblyman Mark Leno, said: "Allowing same-sex couples to access one another's health care plans, make joint medical decisions, inherit one another's property, file joint tax returns, and provide for their children without fear of them falling into foster care should one partner pass away is not only humane but fiscally prudent....I'm grateful that a majority of my colleagues in the Senate Appropriations Committee has taken a principled stand against discrimination and in favor of allowing same-sex couples who want to devote their lives to one another." 1
  • Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families (CCF) -- an organization that opposes equity for same-sex families -- said: "We call upon Governor Schwarzenegger to announce that he will veto this anti- marriage, anti-voter bill...It's high time for the 'Terminator' to tell California families where he stands on AB849." 1 In a CCF press release, he stated: "This homosexual 'marriage' license bill attacks what God created and the people have affirmed -- that the sacred institution of marriage is for one man and one woman." 2
  • Geoffrey Kors, the executive director of Equality California -- an organization that promotes equity for all families -- is hopeful that the governor would sign the legislation if it is passed by the Legislature. He said: "The governor has been consistent in saying he's fine with same-sex marriage if the courts and the people rule, he will support it. The legislature is the people's body, and so hopefully he will sign it." 1  Their web site calls same-sex marriage: "a fundamental civil rights issue....This is about equality -- nothing more, nothing less." 2

Bill is passed by the state Senate and Assembly:

On 2005-SEP-01, It was passed by a vote of 21 to 15 in the state Senate. This event made history, as the first legislative body in the U.S. to pass a bill to legalize same-sex marriage without having first been ordered to do so by a court.

  • Senator Liz Figueroa (D), one of the bill's sponsors, said: "Equality is equality, period. When I leave this Legislature I want to be able to tell my grandchildren I stood up for dignity and rights for all."
  • Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, (R-San Diego) disagreed. He said: "We should protect traditional marriage and hold all of those values and institutions that have made our society and keep our society together today." 3
  • Assemblyman Mark Leno (D) said: "Today represents another milestone toward the fulfillment of the American dream for thousands of lesbian and gay couples in California. Society is strongest when it upholds the basic civil rights of all its citizens, including the right to marry the person you love. I'm grateful that a majority of my colleagues stood up against discrimination and in favor of allowing same-sex couples who want to devote their lives to one another, raise families, and protect themselves and their children with the same rights and responsibilities as different-sex couples with the same goals and dreams."
  • Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) said that: "Marriage is fundamentally different from a civil contract. It's the way we bring new life into the world... [It is a] natural institution [which] we've done a lot to undermine....This is another move down that path." 5
  • Geoffrey Kors of Equality California said: "Today is an unforgettable moment in California history that marks the courage of brave legislators and demonstrates the strength of our democracy. The state Senate of the largest state of the nation just took a bold and giant step in the direction of equality and respect for all families by voting to end discrimination against tens of thousands of same-sex couples and their children. This is an incredibly monumental turning point in the history of a movement. With over 200 organizations supporting this legislation, we have demonstrated that marriage equality is a value supported by California's major civil rights organizations as well as a diverse group of political, community and religious organizations.  We applaud our state Senators for their leadership and the other members who took a stand for equality by voting yes."
  • Senator Nell Soto (D-Ontario) said: "Now is the time to answer for ourselves, 'what is the right thing to do?' For me my higher power tells me, love one another, not judge one another ... that is embedded in my inspiration. ... let us be judged as a group of tolerance and of hope."
  • Rabbi Denise Eger of Koi Ami Congregation said: "This is a historic and wonderful moment for our state and for all people who believe in the institution of marriage. This bill provides for the freedom of religious institutions to follow their beliefs while insuring that the state does not discriminate in issuing [marriage] licenses.  We celebrate the courage of our legislators this day."
  • Reverend Rick Schlosser of the California Council of Churches said: "What I like most about this bill is that it guarantees religious freedom. This bill is about people not being able to impose their religious beliefs on other and enables me to perform my ministry freely, how God wants me to." 4

Governor Schwarzenegger's veto:

The Assembly approved the bill 41 to 35 on SEP-06. However, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced on 2005-SEP-07 that he will veto the bill. The governor's press secretary, Margita Thompson, issued a statement saying that: "We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote. Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto (the bill)." The "people vote" refers to Proposition 22, which California voters passed in 2000 by a relatively slim plurality. If the same proposition were voted on today, it is anyone's guess whether the necessary 11% of voters would switch to an equal-rights position, defeat the proposition, and not prohibit same-sex marriage. A court overturned Proposition 22 earlier in 2005. The state appeals court is reviewing that ruling.

The legislature could override the governor's veto. But that would require a two-thirds majority in both the Assembly and Senate. That is currently well out of reach and will probably remain that way for years.

Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California said: "Clearly he's pandering to an extreme right wing, which was not how he got elected. He got elected with record numbers of lesbian and gay voters who had not previously voted for a Republican, and he sold us out."

Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco said that the governor missed "a golden opportunity to stand on history and do something that was noble and appropriate....It disappoints me greatly, and it will disappoint literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans, not to mention millions of people across the country."

Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D) had called bans on gay marriage "the last frontier of bigotry and discrimination."

Mark Leno (D), author of the bill, said: "The Legislature has done the hard work of picking up the issue of the day, holding public hearings, having public debate and making a decision. [A veto] would be an enormous disregard for the deliberation of both houses and the millions of people who wish him to sign the bill." Leno has requested a meeting with the Governor, but has not received a response.

Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute, which opposed same-sex marriage, said: "I'm encouraged that the governor is going to stop the runaway Legislature, and he's going to represent the people. I think Assembly member Leno wanted to rally everyone on his side and he's done exactly the opposite. He's forced his agenda on the rest of us. But in California the votes of the people do matter." 6

On 2005-SEP-28, Governor Schwarzenegger said that Proposition 22 bars same-sex marriage in California, and that unless the courts or voters overturned Prop 22, his hands were tied:

"Our administration has done everything it can to support gay people, gay couples and everything. Put it on the ballot - maybe they've changed their mind. Because I think the polls are different today than they maybe were five years ago. It could easily be that they favor gay marriage in California."

As expected, Governor Schwarzenegger (R) vetoed the bill on 2005-SEP-29. According to 365gay.com:

"In a brief statement announcing that he had stroked out the bill the governor said he is supportive of same-sex couples and noted that California has the strongest domestic partner law in the country."

"The statement said that if he had signed the bill it would have simply added 'confusion to a constitutional issue.' Schwarzenegger went on to say, 'If the ban of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional this bill is not necessary. If the ban is constitutional this bill is ineffective'."

Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who authored the bill, said that the veto puts Schwarzenegger on the wrong side of history:

"In vetoing this bill approved by duly elected representatives of the people, the Governor has failed his test of leadership and missed a historic opportunity to stand up for the basic civil rights of all Californians...He cannot claim to support fair and equal treatment of gay people and veto the very bill that would have provided it to them."

Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, wrote in a statement:

"However, no one is more disappointed than the tens of thousands of couples and their families that won't have the same rights and privileges that Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger have been afforded. This is real. This is about basic, fundamental rights. It's about laying a foundation of equality for everybody, and he missed a golden opportunity to stand on history and to do something that is noble and appropriate. By no means was this a profile in courage. What a wasted moment for his administration."

Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California said:

"When called upon to take a position on the civil rights issue of the day, Governor Schwarzenegger decided to block the doorway to equality....As a result of his veto, hundreds of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians and their families will continue to live without equal protection of the law. However, the veto cannot take away the incredible progress that was achieved when the majority of California's elected Legislature passed this legislation. History has shown time and time again that the path to equality, justice and fairness can be blocked, but ultimately, the door will be opened....The Governor has simply delayed -- not ended -- the inevitability of marriage equality in California."

Dr. Delores A. Jacobs, chief executive officer of The San Diego LGBT Community Center said:

"We are incredibly disappointed that Governor Schwarzenegger -- who cast himself as a different kind of politician -- has today shown that he lacks the courage and vision to be a true leader of our great state. Today, Governor Schwarzenegger failed to act on an historic opportunity to stand for what is right and fair for hundreds of thousands of California families.

Schwarzenegger did sign three other bills on SEP-29:

  • A bill that bans discrimination against gays, lesbians and the transgender in employment, housing and the delivery of goods and services.
  • A bill that allows hundreds of California state workers who retired prior to January 1, 2005 to take advantage of the state's Domestic Partnership law.
  • A bill that makes homes of domestic partners community property under California divorce law. 7


  1. Christopher Curtis, "Gay marriage bill heads to California's Senate," Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network, 2005-AUG-30, at: http://uk.gay.com/.
  2. Susan Jones, "California Senate Poised to Vote on 'Gay Marriage' Bill," Cybercast News Service. 2005-AUG-31, at: http://www.cnsnews.com/.
  3. "Calif. Senate OKs Gay Marriage Bill," Associated Press, 2005-SEP-01, at: http://start.earthlink.net.
  4. "California makes history as the first legislative body in nation to pass equal marriage rights legislation for same-sex couples," Equality California, 2005-SEP-01, at: http://www.eqca.org/
  5. "On the importance of the vote," Equality California, 2005-SEP-01, at: http://www.eqca.org/..
  6. Steve Lawrence, "Schwarzenegger vows gay marriage bill veto," Associated Press, 2005-SEP-08, at: http://news.yahoo.com/.
  7. Mark Worrall, "Gov. Vetoes Calif. Gay Marriage Bill," 365Gay.com, 2005-SEP-29, at: http://www.365gay.com/

Site navigation:

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Couples > California > here

Copyright © 2005 to 2008, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2008-JUN-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

Go to the previous page, or go to the California domestic partnership menu or choose:

Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

Sponsored links: