American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

California changes Family Code law to reflect marriage equality

On Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that redefine’s the state’s marriage laws making them more inclusive and eliminating “outdated” and “biased” language.

The legislation, written by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and co-sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris, aimed to update the state’s Family Code after AFER’s victory at the Supreme Court last year which restored marriage equality in the Golden State. The new law changes the definition of marriage in the state from between a “husband” and “wife” to between two “spouses.”

The bill, SB1306, passed the California State Assembly on a 51-11 vote late in June.

In 2010, The American Foundation for Equal Rights, with its legal team led by Ted Olson and David Boies, secured an unprecedented victory at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California which ruled the state’s discriminatory marriage ban unconstitutional as they violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

AFER is currently the primary sponsor of Bostic v. Schaefer,¬†the Virginia marriage equality case currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. On February 13, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found the Commonwealth’s marriage laws unconstitutional.