Thousands of EQCA members sent emails to Gov. Schwarzenegger asking him to sign our out-of-state couples bill authored by Sen. Mark Leno, and on the Sunday before last, he signed SB 54 into law! He also got plenty of noise from the anti-LGBT industry and their fans, but he was apparently won over by the justness of our cause and the common-sense reasoning behind SB 54, sending many of those who asked him for it the following message:
"Thank you for writing in support of Senate Bill 54. Taking the time to communicate your views is essential to good citizenship and good government.
I am pleased to inform you that I signed this legislation after extensive consideration of arguments from both supporters and opponents of the issue. This bill requires that California recognize the union of couples that marry in states where same-sex marriage is legal. It honors the will of the people in enacting Proposition 8 while providing important protections to those unions legally entered into in other states. To view the final language of the bill, please visit the Official California Legislative Information website at www.leginfo.ca.gov.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write. I value your suggestions on how government can better serve the people of our state.
Technically, the new law will go into effect on January 1 of the new year, clarifying that existing California law and Court precedent protect the marriages of same-sex couples married before November 5, 2008 and the rights of all same-sex couples married after.
We will only have true equality once we win marriage back, but in the meantime, this law should help thousands of couples know where they stand. Members of our community are often not treated fairly before the law, so we need all the clarification we can get.