|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
February 18, 2011
CONTACT: Jorge Amaro, Equality California
PHONE: (562) 964-3591 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT: Ali Bay, Office of Senator Mark Leno
PHONE: (916) 651-4003 EMAIL: email@example.com
Equality California Sponsors Legislation by Senator Mark Leno to Close Legal Gaps between Marriage and Domestic Partnership Under California Law
Sacramento – Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has introduced the Domestic Partnership Equality Act (SB 651), sponsored by Equality California, which would eliminate a number of inequities that exist between marriage and domestic partnerships under state law.
“Because same-sex couples are unfairly and unconstitutionally prohibited from legally marrying in California, we are forced to enact yet another piece of legislation to provide greater equality to and security for same-sex couples and their families,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors. "However, even with this legislation, there are more than a thousand rights married couples are granted that domestic partners do not have access to. Ultimately, domestic partnerships have never and will never offer the same dignity and protections that come with marriage. To ensure people are treated equally under the law, we must restore the freedom to marry for all Californians.”
There are number significant differences between marriage and domestic partnerships in California including residency, age of consent, confidentiality and the exclusion of domestic partners from long term insurance benefits.
“By maintaining different requirements for domestic partners and married couples, California law continues to be inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling that all couples be treated equally,” said Senator Leno. “This bill will remedy those final inequities, including the denial of long-term care insurance to domestic partners who are state employees and requirements related to age and whether couples live at the same residence. As we inch ever closer to equality, the only way to ensure fair treatment is to allow all loving couples the right to marry. Separate is seldom, if ever, equal.”
Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed more than 70 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org