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Monday, July 7, 2014

California Updates Marriage Law: "Husband and Wife" Replaced With "Spouse and Partner"

Posted By on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 4:26 PM


A year after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and paved the way for gay marriage, some vestiges of the old marital bureaucracy still remain.

Today, Governor Brown took care of one of them, signing a measure that would update state law show that gay marriage is legal in California. The old family code described marriage as a union between "a man and a woman"; the new one uses gender­neutral terms.

Hence, all references to "husband" and "wife" have been changed to "spouse" or "marital partner." The legislation also affects a provision that denies certain benefits to people co­habiting with "a person of the opposite sex." Now, that co­habiting party is an un­sexed "non­marital partner."

State Senator Mark Leno introduced this bill in February, along with co­sponsor Attorney General Kamala Harris and several LGBT rights groups. It met opposition from conservative groups like the California Family Council, but otherwise passed easily.

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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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