Pro-family groups blasted the California Senate's passage of a bill Thursday that would legalize same-sex marriage and make it the first legislative body in the country to approve a gay marriage legislation.
"How can God bless California when our lawmakers do this?" asked Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families.
After the state Assembly rejected the bill by a narrow vote in June, the measure made a comeback and passed the Senate by a 21-15 vote.
The proposed act would redefine marriage in California as a union between two persons, making marriage gender-neutral and thereby permitting same-sex marriages in the state.
"A leading California pro-family organization is reacting with horror to today's passage of homosexual marriage licenses in the State Senate," stated a CCF news release. "The Democrat-controlled Senate has completely overturned the people's vote on marriage."
An overwhelming vote by the people of California opposed gay marriage in 2000 with the passage of Prop 22, which only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman in the state.
While Prop 22 won in 52 of California's 58 counties, the state senate dropped a bomb on pro-family advocates.
"They're violating the state constitution, which specifically prohibits the Legislature from repealing voter-approved initiatives!" stated Thomasson.
The measure is now headed for the state Assembly from where it will reach Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk if passed.
Democratic Sen. Debra Bowen said several churches backed the gender-neutral bill, according to the Associate Press.
Nevertheless, opponents are now making efforts to qualify initiatives for the 2006 ballot to ban gay marriages in the state Constitution.
"If the Legislature flushes the people's vote on marriage down the drain, the people will rise up, override the politicians and the judges, and protect marriage rights for one man and one woman in the state constitution," said activist Ed Hernandez, a proponent of VoteYesMarriage.com, during a news conference outside the State Capitol.
CCF urges both Governor Schwarzenegger and "every Californian who believes marriage is for a man and a woman" to rise up in opposition to the gay marriage license.
"This corrupt deed by state legislators will energize voters to sign the www.VoteYesMarriage.com petition a month from now, to protect marriage rights for one man and one woman once and for all," stated Thomasson.
The Vote Yes Marriage amendment is already circulating across the state to place the initiative on the 2006 ballot.