Via Towleroad, news that a ballot initiative has been approved that would replace the term “marriage” with “domestic partnership” in regards to state law in California. This is the effort of Ali Shams and Kaelan Housewright, two straight Cali college students. The text of the initiative (PDF here):

Date: March 9, 2009

Initiative No.: 09-0003

The Attorney General of California has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:

SUBSTITUTES DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP FOR MARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA LAW. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Replaces the term “marriage” with the term “domestic partnership” throughout California law, but preserves the rights provided in marriage. Applies equally to all couples, regardless of sexual orientation. Repeals the provision in California’s Constitution that states only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: This measure would have an unknown fiscal effect on state and local governments. (09-0003.)

They have until August 6 to collect 694,354 signatures.

Let’s see how that is received by the anti-gay bible-beating set, which spends most of its time confusing the issue by conflating religious and civil marriage. California already has domestic partnership laws, so how would they like it if civil marriage was abolished and all heterosexual marriages recognized by state government (leaving their marriages blessed by the church intact) were converted to DPs?

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding