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Action Guide
March 7, 2000

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA

OPPOSES

Proposition 22 — Limit on Marriages
Initiative Statute

DESCRIPTION

Proposition 22 would add a provision to the Family Code providing that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

BACKGROUND

California law now states that marriage arises from a civil contract between a man and a woman, and provides that a marriage that took place outside of California and was legal where it took place is generally considered valid in California.

No state now provides for same-sex marriages. However, the Vermont Supreme Court has recently ruled that the state must provide for persons in same-sex unions to receive the same benefits and protections as those in heterosexual marriages. The court gave the state legislature "a reasonable period of time" to enact laws that will extend equal protection to same-sex couples, without specifying exactly how it should be done. (The legislature could redefine marriage or could establish rights and benefits through a domestic partnership arrangement.) The decision was based on the state constitution, and therefore is not subject to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Court rulings in Hawaii this decade appeared to be heading toward recognition of same-sex marriages in that state. However, in 1998 Hawaii voters passed a state constitutional amendment to prevent same-sex marriages. In 1996, Congress passed a law (the federal Defense of Marriage Act) stating that states could refuse to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in other states and that only heterosexual marriages performed in any state would be recognized for purposes of federal law. This law has not yet been subjected to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

IMPORTANT POINTS


SUPPORTERS
Signing the ballot argument for:
OPPONENTS
Signing the ballot argument against:
Jeanne Murray, Field Director
60 Plus Association

Gary Becker, Executive Director
Association of American Educators

Thomas Fong, President
Chinese Family Alliance

Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Speaker
California State Assembly

The Right Reverend William E. Swing
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of California

Krys Wulff, President
American Association of University Women of California

The rebuttal to the supporters' arguments was signed by Gil Garcetti, District Attorney, County of Los Angeles, and Delaine Eastin, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction.


RESOURCES

No on Knight Campaign, 415-227-1020, email campaign@noonnight.org, www.noonknight.org


Return to Action Guide Summary, March 2000. On what other propositions is the League recommending a vote?
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