Sacramento, Calif. – Marking the beginning of Pride Month, California state lawmakers introduced language on Monday to amend the state’s constitution to protect marriage equality for all.
Although marriage equality for same-sex couples has been the law of the land in California since the Supreme Court’s June 2013 ruling in Hollingsworth v. Perry, California’s constitution still contains outdated and discriminatory language from Proposition 8 stating that same-sex couples are not allowed to marry.
“Marriage equality is a fundamental right and voters deserve the opportunity to remove a black mark from the California constitution,” Asm. Low said.
The proposed constitutional amendment, ACA 5, is authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and supported by the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus and dozens of lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate. The constitutional amendment would amend the California Constitution to protect the fundamental freedom to marry as part of existing rights to enjoy life and liberty, pursue happiness and privacy, and not be denied due process or equal protection. These protections would help to safeguard against any future attempts to restrict marriage rights for same-sex or interracial couples.
“Although, same-sex marriage is legal, it could be temporary. We have to remain vigilant, unwavering in our dedication to equality. Together, we can reinforce the importance of love, acceptance, and inclusivity. Our journey towards true equality is not over, and this is a foundational step in making progress and change here in the Golden State,” Asm. Low said.
ACA 5 requires two-thirds vote in each chamber of the California Legislature and will then be referred to voters for approval in the November 2024 general election. Notably, 31 Senators and 42 Assemblymembers have already signed on as co-authors of the legislation, including the Senate President Pro Tem, the Assembly Speaker and the Assembly Speaker Designate.
71% of Americans — an all-time high, including majorities of voters across the political spectrum — support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.