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California Senate OKs same-sex marriage bill

Another leap forward for gay civil rights in the Golden State! The next step for this legislation is the Assembly.

The state Senate approved legislation Thursday that would legalize same-sex marriage in California, a vote that makes the chamber the first legislative body in the country to approve a gay marriage bill. The 21-15 vote sets the stage for a showdown next week in the California Assembly, which narrowly rejected a gay marriage bill in June.

“Equality is equality, period,” said one of the bill’s supporters, Democratic Sen. Liz Figueroa. “When I leave this Legislature, I want to be able to tell my grandchildren I stood up for dignity and rights for all.”

…Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office had no comment Thursday on how the governor would respond if the bill reached his desk, spokeswoman Margita Thompson said. “The governor believes that the people spoke when they passed Proposition 22, and now it went to the courts and that’s where it should be,” she said. “The governor will abide by what the courts rule.”

The wingnuts, of course, were out with the usual, tired stock quotes.

Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, a Republican, suggested a “higher power” was opposed to the legislation. “This is not the right thing to do,” he said. “We should protect traditional marriage and uphold all of those values and institutions that have made our society and keep our society together today.”

Sen. Tom McClintock, a Republican, agreed that gay couples should be entitled to certain rights but not the right to marry. “Can’t you see that marriage is a fundamentally different institution?” he said. “Marriage is the institution by which we propagate our species and inculcate our young.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding