Equality California
Domestic Partnership Equality Act | SB 651 | 2011

Domestic Partnership Equality Act

Bill Number: SB 651

Many inequalities exist between marriage and domestic partnership in California. For example, the law previously requested couples who wish to enter into a domestic partnership must first be living together, while there is no such requirement for marriage. SB 651 corrects this problem and other differences that remain between marriage and domestic partnerships, bringing our state one step closer to equality while we wait for a final ruling in the federal case against Prop. 8. This bill also authorizes a judgment for dissolution, nullity or legal separation of a marriage between persons of the same sex to be entered if the marriage was entered in California and neither party to the marriage resides in a jurisdiction that will dissolve the marriage. 

Status: Introduced on February 18, 2011. Passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 5, 2011, on a 3-2 vote. Passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 26, 2011, on a 6-2 vote, and by the full Senate on June 1, 2011 on a 24-15 vote. Passed by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on June 28, 2011, on a 6-3 vote. Passed by the full Assembly on September 8 2011, on a 52-26 vote. Passed the Senate on September 9, 2011 on a 25-15 vote. Signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Author: Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) 

Legislative Co-Authors: Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), Senator Fran Pavley (D-Los Angeles & Ventura), Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), Assemblymember Marty Block (D-San Diego), Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-Los Angeles), Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-North Coast), Assemblymember Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park), Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-Marin & Sonoma),  Assemblymember Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella), Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge), and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley)


 SB 651 Legislation Information

Press Releases