CA lawmakers push to enshrine same-sex marriage rights in constitution

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Saturday, June 8, 2024
CA lawmakers push to enshrine marriage rights in constitution
Gov. Newsom and other California politicians are supporting ACA 5, an amendment that would change what the state's constitution defines as marriage.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Twenty years ago, then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered the city to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in what became known as "The Winter of Love." Now, Newsom is back in San Francisco as the state's Governor to expand on that pledge.

"The future happens here first. We are America's common attraction. We have a special role and a responsibility to lead and that is what this initiative is all about," said Gov. Newsom.

Gov. Newsom along with several California political leaders, are supporting Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 5 also known as ACA 5. It's an amendment that would change the wording of what the state's constitution defines as marriage.

"This is so important and timely especially during the month of Pride that when we celebrate, we often times need to reaffirm our commitment," said Assemblymember Evan Low.

MORE: Same-sex couple reflects on 20 years of marriage equality in San Francisco

Assemblymember Low views the amendment to the constitution as vital following the ruling by the U.S. supreme court on abortion overturn Roe v. Wade.

"Given the direction of the United States Supreme Court if they show you who they are, we need to believe them," said Low. "Same-sex protections. That is next on the chopping block. They were not done with just reproductive freedom. They are coming for us."

The California constitution was changed in 2008 stating that marriage was between a man and a woman.

"In 2008, the voters in California passed Proposition 8 which put this discriminatory language in the California state constitution, but we know that the tide has completely shifted in California and there is broad support across political parties, ideology, race, ethnicity and class for supporting marriage equality," said Ashley Morris, ACLU organizing director.

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The California Family Council was behind the passing of Prop 8. They categorized ACA 5 as "deeply concerning."

"Completely abolishes the traditional definition of marriage. Not just repealing the definition of Prop 8 as between one man and one woman, but there is now no limit to the number they can get married. The age of people that can get married or the genetic relationship between those people that can get married. We are talking about cousins, potentially siblings," said Jonathan Keller, President of the California Family Council.

Keller said their concern goes beyond the California constitution.

"Tragically, if we begin to abolish marriage in the state of California, we are opening pandora's box. It creates a cascading series of dangerous effects for all 50 states around the country," said Keller.

California voters will decide when they vote this November.

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