California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure deleting the terms “husband” and “wife” from California's marriage law. SB 1306 was introduced by openly homosexual State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2013 ruling that the state's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment, Proposition 8, defining marriage as only between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.
The new measure strikes from the state's family code the references to marriage as a union “between a man and a woman” and replaces the terms “husband” and “wife” with the term “spouse” throughout state ordinances.
With the Supreme Court ruling, California “resumed issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples — and recognizing same-sex marriages from out of state — in June 2013,” reported the Los Angeles Times, but references to traditional marriage had remained on the books until Leno and Brown tag-teamed to make husbands and wives legally passe.
“This legislation removes outdated and biased language from state codes and recognizes all married spouses equally, regardless of their gender,” said Leno in a statement. He thanked Brown for recognizing “the importance of this bill, which makes it explicitly clear in state law that every loving couple has the right to marry in California.”
The Times noted that the bill was cosponsored by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, while predictable opposition came from such conservative, pro-family groups as the California Family Council and Concerned Women for America of California.
Matthew McReynolds of the Pacific Justice Institute said in a statement that the new law “continues the pattern we’ve been seeing the last few years of politicians ignoring the people to advance the agenda of marriage redefinition. What these politicians don’t want people to know is that their actions are illegitimate. Contrary to media myths, Prop. 8 has not been invalidated on a statewide basis. Instead, these politicians are exercising raw power, ignoring the Constitution and counting on the people and the courts not to hold them accountable.”
Similarly, the National Organization for Marriage argued that the law represents “further proof that redefining marriage is not simply about 'equality' or expanding the institution to include more kinds of relationships; it is about fundamentally altering the meaning of the institution itself, and discarding terms like 'husband' and 'wife' to the ash heap of history.”