California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation that brings state law in line with court rulings allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state.

Openly gay Democratic Senator Mark Leno introduced SB 1306, which replaces references in state law to “husband and wife” with language such as “spouse.” Bill co-sponsors included Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Equality California (EQCA) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

“I am pleased Governor Brown has recognized the importance of this bill, which makes it explicitly clear in state law that every loving couple has the right to marry in California,” Leno said in a statement. “This legislation removes outdated and biased language from state codes and recognizes all married spouses equally, regardless of their gender.”

After the California Supreme Court in 2008 struck down the state's marriage ban, voters approved Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional, effectively reinstating the state court's ruling.

“This law makes it clear to everyone that same-sex couples can marry and that all spouses have the exact same rights and responsibilities under the law, regardless of gender,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell.

The bill takes effect on January 1, 2015.