California Senate Passes Constitutional Amendment Protecting Marriage Equality with Bipartisan Support

Jul 7, 2023

California Senate Passes Constitutional Amendment Protecting Marriage Equality with Bipartisan Support

Printed July 27, 2023

The California Senate passed a proposed state constitutional amendment to secure marriage equality 31-0 with bipartisan support on Thursday. Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 (ACA 5), authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would amend the California Constitution to protect the fundamental freedom to marry and remove the unconstitutional and discriminatory language from Proposition 8. Doing so would help safeguard against any future attempts to restrict marriage rights for same-sex or interracial couples.

“Today, with bipartisan support, we are one step closer to ensuring marriage equality as a fundamental right in California. ACA 5 will give voters the opportunity to remove a black stain from the California constitution,” said Assemblymember Evan Low. “California is ready for love, and these protections will protect against any future attempts to restrict marriage rights for same-sex and interracial couples.”

“Next fall, Californians will reject the assault on LGBTQ rights that bigoted, ideological Justices have launched from the Supreme Court,” said Senator Scott Wiener. “The bipartisan support for this amendment shows once again that inclusion remains a core value across ideological lines in our state. I look forward to working with this incredible coalition to advance this critical protection.”

71% of Americans — an all-time high, including majorities of voters across the political spectrum — support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.That’s why ACA 5 has received overwhelming bipartisan support in the California Legislature — the Assembly passed ACA 5 on June 26, with no members voting against the measure. And in the Senate it also passed with no members voting against the measure.

ACA 5 is set to appear on the November 2024 ballot and requires majority approval from California voters to amend the constitution. In the coming months, a broad coalition of civil rights organizations and labor groups, including Equality California, will launch a statewide campaign to secure the passage of this critical measure.
“Today is a historic day for our community, for California, and for the cause of justice and equality everywhere,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “California should always protect fundamental civil rights for all people and ACA 5 is a critical step toward fulfilling that commitment. This wouldn’t be possible without the broad bipartisan support and commitment to love and fairness of our partners in the Legislature. We’re deeply grateful to Assemblymember Low, Senator Wiener and the entire Legislative LGBTQ Caucus for their leadership in this fight.”

“California has long been at the forefront of progressive change, ensuring every Californian, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is treated with the respect, dignity, and fairness they deserve,” said California Lieutenant Governor, Eleni Kounalakis. “Today’s Senate vote sends a powerful message of support for our LGBTQ+ community and reaffirms our state’s unwavering commitment to the fight for equity, inclusion, and the right to love.”

“Proposition 8 has been a stain on our state’s constitution for nearly twenty years. It is long past time that we correct this injustice and remove this shameful and outdated provision from our law,” said NCLR Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon. “In November 2024, voters have the opportunity to repeal Prop 8 once-and-for-all, and we urge every Californian to vote for ACA5 when it appears on the ballot.”

“The repeal of Prop 8 is one critical step toward ensuring lived equality for all Californians,” said Becca Cramer-Mowder, Legislative Advocate for ACLU California Action. “We look forward to working with a broad coalition of LGBTQ+ community members and allies on this ballot campaign, as well as other efforts to address the violence, discrimination, and injustice LGBTQ+ and particularly transgender people are still grappling with today.”

“All Californians deserve to know that their marriages are secure and recognized in the eyes of the law,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “California legislators have sent a clear message: LGBTQ+ peoples’ lives and love are valid and supported. We strongly urge all Californians to vote in favor of passing this constitutional amendment, which is an important step to ensuring that marriage equality is protected. As we witness an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping statehouses across the nation, we must keep up the fight to ensure everyone in our community has full equality, without exception.”

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