A bill that would protect clergy members from performing same-sex marriages was presented to the California State Assembly by an unlikely author on Tuesday: gay rights activist Democratic Senator Mark Leno.
The bill, SB 1140, passed the Assembly 48-24, reportedly with many Republicans voting against it.
"As we continue our efforts to achieve full equality, we must remove every possible barrier to securing the freedom to marry, including the false claim made by anti-equality advocates that allowing loving same-sex couples to marry will force clergy or places of worship to compromise their religious beliefs," wrote Leno in the bill.
In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 8, a statewide ban on same-sex marriage, which has since been making its way through a series of appeals. In a press release introducing SB 1140, Leno stated "that it is only a matter of time before same-sex couples in California will again have the freedom to marry."
"As we anticipate the restoration of the freedom to marry in our state, SB 1140 reaffirms the principals of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with respect to the freedom of clergy to make faith-based decisions regarding which marriages they solemnize," he continued.
Though the bill would protect objecting clergy from performing sex-sex marriages, some religious groups have called the bill a "Trojan horse."
"We call it a Trojan horse," said Catholics for Common Good President William B. May in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in May. "It appears to be a gift, but really it's undermining marriage. Rather, the true intent of the bill is to spread further confusion about what marriage is by differentiating between different types: civil and religious.”
The bill will now return to the Senate.
Jan. 3, 2000
California begins registering domestic partners, allowing same-sex couples: hospital visitation rights and health insurance coverage for the dependents of government employees covered by CalPERS, the state retirement system.
March 7, 2000
Proposition 22, a ballot measure which declares that marriage should remain between opposite sex couples, is approved by 61 percent of California voters.
Sept. 19, 2003
California Governor Gray Davis signs a bill that gives state-registered domestic partners additional rights that, although stop short of recognizing gay marriage, allow surviving partners the right to collect government benefits from his or her partner and obtain custody is a partnership is ultimately dissolved.
Feb. 12, 2004
Dozens of same-sex couples are married when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom instructs city officials to issue marriage licenses. The excitement is short-lived, however, and on March 11, the California Supreme Court orders the city to stop marrying gay couples after nearly 4,000 have received licenses.
Aug. 12, 2004
California's Supreme Court rules that Newsom overstepped his authority by allowing San Francisco to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the court also declares the nearly 4,000 couples "void from their inception and a legal nullity."
Dec. 21, 2004
A San Francisco judge hears arguments on same-sex marriages, which argue that the current law defining marriage as being "between a man and a woman" violates the state Constitution by denying gay couples the "fundamental right" to marry a person of their choice.
Sept. 29, 2005
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes a same-sex marriage bill after it passed the Senate and Assembly, arguing that it would wrongly reverse Proposition 22, which declares that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
Sept. 19, 2007
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders reverses his public opposition to same-sex marriage, saying he cannot tell his daughter Lisa, who is a lesbian, that her relationship with a partner is not as important as that of a straight couple.
Oct. 12, 2007
Schwarzenegger vetoes a bill approved by state lawmakers that would legalize gay marriage, saying the courts need to rule on the legality of Proposition 22, the gay marriage ban passed by voters.
May 15, 2008
The California Supreme Court rules that the state Constitution protects a fundamental "right to marry" that should also extend to same-sex couples, and that existing bans are unconstitutional.
June 2, 2008
The California Marriage Protection Act is submitted with over one million signatures. It appears as Proposition 8 on the November ballot.
Nov. 8, 2008
Despite an onslaught of opposition from LGBT activists and allies, Proposition 8 passes with 52 percent of the vote.
Aug. 4, 2010
U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker declares,"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the Court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."
Feb. 7, 2012
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/us/marriage-ban-violates-constitution-court-rules.html?_r=0" target="_blank">upholds the earlier ruling against Proposition 8</a>, though a stay on gay marriages remains. In his decision, Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt ruled that the sole purpose of the gay marriage ban was to discriminate. “All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation ‘marriage,’” he wrote. “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.”
July 31, 2012
Supporters of Prop 8 call on the Supreme Court to take up their case against gay marriage.
Dec. 7, 2012
The Supreme Court announces that it will hear arguments in the Prop 8 case, as well as consider whether the measure's supporters still have legal standing to challenge the case in federal court.
March 26, 2013
The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Prop 8. Court watchers <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/26/supreme-court-proposition-8_n_2950615.html" target="_blank">saw trouble for the gay marriage ban</a> after the day's events.
June 26, 2013
The Supreme Court rules against Prop 8 backers, making gay marriage legal once again in California. Their decision left broader questions, however. HuffPost's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/supreme-court-prop-8_n_3434854.html" target="_blank">Ryan J. Reilly and Mike Sacks report</a>: <blockquote>The Supreme Court on Wednesday left for dead California's same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, but the question of gay and lesbian couples' constitutional right to marry remains very much alive. By a 5-4 vote, the justices held in Hollingsworth v. Perry that the traditional marriage activists who put Proposition 8 on California ballots in 2008 did not have the constitutional authority, or standing, to defend the law in federal courts after the state refused to appeal its loss at trial.</blockquote>