Governor Signs Jackson Bill To Modernize Laws To Reflect Marriage Equality

July 05, 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 was recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

Jackson’s 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 and includes registered domestic partners in the code changes.

“I’m very pleased this bill has now become law. By removing outdated language from the state code, the law will now accurately reflect the rights of same-sex couples in California and the fact that marriage equality is now the law of the land,” said Jackson. “This helps ensure the equal and fair treatment of all same-sex couples in California.”

"Marriage equality was restored in California in 2013, but pockets of discriminatory language persist in various areas of state law," said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. "We are grateful to Senator Jackson and to Governor Brown for making sure all areas of the law reflect reality and respect married same-sex couples."

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.”  

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