The proposed bill to legalize homosexual marriage that was passed in California State Senate last Thursday will enter the State Assembly for a second vote this week.
Pro-family groups criticized the bill as misrepresentation of the California majority who overwhelmingly opposed gay marriage with the passage of Proposition 22 in 2000. An earlier bill to legalize gay marriage in California, also introduced by Assemblyman Mark Leno, was rejected in the State Assembly in June by a vote of 21-15.
Toward the upcoming vote, pro-family groups are vigorously lobbying in the Assembly for support. "We intend to keep the Assembly members' feet to the fire," said Benjamin Lopez, a leader of the Traditional Values Coalition. "If they support marriage for one man and one woman, like their constituents voted, they will vote against AB 849."
For Assemblyman Mark Leno, the passage of the bill in Senate was viewed as a victory for civil rights. "We are so very close," commented Leno last week after the bill was passed. "It would be very disappointing for [the Assembly] not to be able to stand up for civil rights."
If passed through the State Assembly, the bill will reach the desk of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On the other side of the coast, another state is also looking to make major decisions on legality of homosexual marriage. Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly is expected to issue his decision today on whether or not to certify a constitutional amendment filed by VoteOnMarriage.org. Homosexual rights groups have pressed Reilly not to certify the amendment claiming the decision would be unconsitutional under the 2003 Goodridge decision.
The amendment will require 66,000 signatures and two legislative approvals before it can be placed on the 2008 ballot
Also scheduled on September 14th, Massachusetts legistlators will meet in a constitution convention to place a second vote on the civil-union amendment which was passed last year. The amendment is unpopular among lawmakers, yet some might favor the amendment if Reilly were to reject VoteOnMarriage.org’s amendment.
In Washington, the possibility that State Supreme Court might issue a mandate same sex marriage in the state this month would place Washington as the second state to legalize gay marriages, as Homosexual rights groups hoped. Traditional-value groups are hoping that the court will uphold the state’s Defense of Marriage Act passed overwhelmingly by the state legislators.