Two openly gay lawmakers in California
have introduced legislation that would repeal the state's
constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
State Senator Scott Wiener and Assembly
Member Evan Low, both Democrats, introduced the legislation last
Proposition 8 was approved by voters 15
years ago. The constitutional amendment defines marriage in the state
as a heterosexual union.
“It's absolute poison,” Wiener told
the AP. “It is so destructive and it's humiliating that this is in
Proposition 8 was declared
unconstitutional by a circuit court in 2010 but remained in place
until the Supreme Court in 2013 ruled against interveners in the
case, saying that they lacked standing to defend the amendment. In
2015, the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges found that gay
and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry, ushering in
nationwide marriage equality.
Last year, President Joe Biden signed
into law the Respect for Marriage Act, which requires states to
recognize all lawful marriages. But the legislation does not force
states to allow gay couples to marry if Obergefell is
Governor Gavin Newsom, who married gay
couples as mayor of San Francisco when such unions were not legal in
California, has endorsed repeal.
“It's time that our laws affirm
marriage equality regardless of who you are or who you love,”
Newsom, a Democrat, said. “California stands with the LGBTQ+
community and their right to live freely.”
The legislation should face little
opposition in the Legislature, where Democrats hold large majorities
in both houses. Voters would ultimately decide via a referendum.
In 2020, Nevada became the first state
to protect same-sex marriage in its Constitution.