Action Needed: California Assembly Bill 1338
This bill will legalize Vermont-style Civil Unions in California. It will extend all the rights and responsibilities of marriage currently extended to opposite-sex couples to married couples. It amends several hundred California laws. The bill will be voted on on January 15 by the California Assembly Judiciary Committee. If you live in California, it is important that you either write or telephone the following Assembly members to express your support and to urge a yes vote.
Dear Assembly Member:
I am writing to urge you to vote for AB 1338 when it comes before you soon in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. As you may know, AB 1338 would grant to same gender couples, who enter a civil union, essentially all the same rights as are now available to married couples in California.
According to the last US Census report there are now over 92,000 same sex couples in California. (Some authorities estimate there may be as many as 400,000 same sex couples in the state.) Those unions were formed without the support of state law and they will continue to be formed whether or not AB 1338 is passed. However, by passing AB 1338, the legislature can improve the chance that the adults in these relationships, and the children they care for, can develop healthy, happy, stable families. Everyone in California will benefit from that.
Some say AB 1338 goes against the will of the people as expressed in their vote on Proposition 22. However, this proposition was approved in March of 2000, six months after AB 26 legalized domestic partnerships in California. Proposition 22 added a provision to the CA Family Code stating that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
Proposition 22 did not even mention domestic partners or specify what rights they should or should not have. Surely, six months after the passage of AB 26, if Proposition 22 was meant to limit the rights available to domestic partners, it would have said so directly.
So, domestic partnerships are going to grow in number whatever you do. The people in them will be just ordinary people trying to make a good life for themselves and the people they love. You have it in your power to help them to do that. I urge you to help them. Please vote for AB 1338.
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