Jackson Bill To Update Laws To Reflect Marriage Equality Passes Off Senate Floor

April 14, 2016

SACRAMENTO – A bill by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to modernize language in more than a dozen sections of California law to reflect the fact that same-sex couples can now marry passed off the Senate floor on a bipartisan vote today. The vote was 34-2.

Senate Bill 1005 changes various code sections in California law mentioning a “husband” and “wife” to the gender-neutral term “spouse” to reflect the fact that same-sex couples can now legally marry in California. It also recognizes the rights of same-sex couples in registered domestic partnerships, by amending code sections that reference “spouses” to include registered domestic partners.

“By removing outdated language from the state code, the law will now accurately reflect the rights of registered domestic partners and married couples in California,” said Jackson. “This helps ensure the equal and fair treatment of all couples in California.”

"Marriage equality has been California law since 2013, but that reality has not reached all parts of California code that affect same-sex married couples and families, or those in domestic partnerships," said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. "This bill simply requires that California statutes uniformly reflect and respect the fact that marriage equality is the law of the land."

SB 1005 is a continuation of the work done two years ago by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Leno’s SB 1306 updated the family code by changing the gender-specific terms “husband” and “wife” to “spouse.”

The bill now heads to the State Assembly.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.