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米カリフォルニア州議会上院、同性婚合法化法案可決 下院へ 1のつづき
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• Read the text of AB-849 on same-sex marriages (PDF)
Posted on Thu, Sep. 01, 2005
State Senate passes gay marriage bill
HISTORIC VOTE COMES AFTER IMPASSIONED DEBATE
By Kate Folmar and Andrew LaMar
San Jose Mercury News Sacramento Bureau
SACRAMENTO - In a ground-breaking vote, the Senate today narrowly approved a bill allowing gay couples to wed in California -- becoming the first legislative body to do so without court intervention.
In more than an hour of impassioned debate, senators invoked God, the founding fathers and the civil rights movement before passing AB 849 on 21-15 vote. All of the yes votes were cast by Democrats. One Democrat, Sen. Dean Florez of Shafter, voted no along with most Republicans. Four lawmakers abstained.
``Lesbians and gay men should not fight this battle alone,'' said Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont, before the vote. ``Equality is equality -- period.''
Allowing gay couples to wed, just like everyone else, ``unchains a community that has contributed to this state since its inception,'' said Sen. Sheila Kuehl, one of the Legislature's six openly gay members.
Bill opponents, however, said most Californians do not support gay marriages and that they do not contribute to healthy families.
Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Temecula, said the best environment for children is a family with one man and one woman.
``I don't think there is a member in this chamber who doesn't somewhere -- either readily on the surface, or somewhere deep down inside -- know that this is not the right thing to do,'' he said.
California already confers many of the rights and duties of marriage on gay couples, who can register as domestic partners. Massachusetts became the first state to recognize gay marriages when the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex weddings there in 2003.
Several senators equated the struggle for gay marriage to other civil rights movements. They said arguments against the bill were similar to earlier arguments in support of slavery and opposing interracial marriage.
``This is probably the most profound civil rights movement of our generation, without a doubt,'' said Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough.
Gay rights advocates called Thursday's California vote historic.
``It will make all California families safer and more secure if it becomes law,'' said Seth Kilbourn, director of the Human Rights Campaign Marriage Project in New York. ``The fact they debated and voted on this relatively quickly today sends a message that there is momentum for this bill.''
The bill still faces a tough fight to become law.
By the end of next week, it must return to the Assembly, where it failed by a handful of votes earlier this year. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seems unlikely to sign it if it does pass the Assembly. He has said it is up to the courts or the people to decide whether to overturn Proposition 22, a 2000 ballot initiative which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Last year, after the Massachusetts Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages there, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom bucked California law and began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The marriages held at San Francisco City Hall were eventually struck down by the California Supreme Court, which unanimously agreed that the city had gone too far.
But earlier this spring, a San Francisco Superior Court judge issued a landmark ruling when he concluded that California's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.
The issue is likely to end up in the California Supreme Court. Meanwhile, opponents are trying to put a constitutional ban on gay marriage before voters next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
tagContact Kate Folmar at email@example.com.
Posted on Fri, Sep. 02, 2005
State Senate backs same-sex marriage; Assembly next
By Aaron C. Davis
San Jose Mercury News Sacramento Bureau
SACRAMENTO - Passionately invoking the end of slavery, the civil rights movement and Bible scriptures on love, the Democrat-controlled California Senate on Thursday became the first legislative body in the nation to approve a bill allowing gay couples to wed.
``It is a very proud day,'' said the bill's author, Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who hugged and kissed supporters when the bill passed. ``The Senate embraced our common humanity that all of our citizens are created equal. . . . It's historic and it's just the beginning.''
If it becomes law, AB 849 would rewrite California's definition of marriage as being between ``two persons'' instead of as a union between ``a man and a woman.'' The bill must still pass the Assembly, where it was narrowly defeated in June, before it reaches Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who opposes same-sex marriage but supports domestic partnerships.
The Senate vote is expected to quickly reignite one of the most emotional and politically contentious issues in contemporary politics. Already, two initiatives are being circulated to put a constitutional ban on gay marriage before voters next year.
But whether Thursday's dramatic action goes down as the first in a wave of growing legislative support for same-sex marriage or as a high-water mark for gay rights now rests with a handful of moderates who could risk political suicide by supporting it. Almost all of the 10 Assembly Democrats who abstained or voted against gay marriage in June face tough elections next year in swing districts or represent heavily Latino or Catholic constituencies that generally oppose it.
``You have to ask, how does this vote impact my next election? Some will deny that, but we need to be open and honest,'' said Assemblyman Simon Salinas, D-Salinas, one of five key Assembly Democrats who abstained from voting in June.
Although he believes that marriage should remain a union between a man and a woman, he said he is likely to abstain again despite heavy lobbying from both sides.
Thursday's unusually long and impassioned debate ended with a 21-15 vote -- a one-vote majority in the 40-member Senate -- and offered a glimpse of battles to come. Three Democrats abstained and one voted no. All Bay Area senators voted in favor of the bill.
``I don't think there is a member in this chamber who doesn't somewhere -- either readily on the surface, or somewhere deep down inside -- know that this is not the right thing to do,'' said Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Temecula.
Hollingsworth and Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, were the only two Republicans who spoke against the bill. They argued that the best environment for children is a family with one man and one woman as parents, and cited the voter-approved Proposition 22 -- the 2000 ballot initiative that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman -- as evidence the majority of Californians don't support gay marriage.
A recent poll found likely voters statewide are now equally split over whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry.
Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Los Angeles, who with Leno is among the Legislature's six openly gay members, said Thursday's vote ``unchains a community that has contributed to this state since its inception.''
She said she was proud to be a member of the first U.S. legislative body to approve same-sex marriage without court intervention. In Massachusetts, where the state Supreme Court ruled that gays had a constitutional right to wed, the state's legislature has not yet passed legislation to implement the ruling.
But San Jose State University political scientist Larry Gerston said advocates still face a huge battle in getting the support of Assembly Democrats with ``extenuating circumstances'' in their districts.
With Schwarzenegger giving no indication Thursday that he would sign the measure, ``why should these Democrats go out on a limb? Some will call a vote for this courageous, others would call it foolish.''
All five Democrats who abstained in June face term-limit pressures and battles for new jobs next year. In his case, Salinas plans to seek the Merced Senate seat held by conservative Republican Jeffrey Denham.
``If I was thinking entirely politically, I would vote no because then I could show to my constituents that I was representing them more conservatively,'' said Salinas.
Despite the odds, Leno said he was encouraged by the victory in the Senate.
``We now move to the assembly,'' Leno said. ``We are looking for three votes and I can't tell you today that I know exactly who the three will be . . . but I believe the Senate will give us the necessary momentum and encouragement to do what we know is the right thing.''
Mercury News Sacramento reporters Kate Folmar and Andrew LaMar contributed to this report. Contact Aaron C. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 325-4315.
State Senate OKs bill to let gays wed
Leno's measure faces battle in Assembly
- Lynda Gledhill and Wyatt Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writers
Friday, September 2, 2005
Sacramento -- The state Senate, in a historic vote watched across the country, approved a bill Thursday that would legalize same-sex marriage in California.
The vote was the first time a state legislative body in the United States had voted to approve same-sex marriage. Massachusetts issued marriage licenses to gays and lesbians only after a court order, while Vermont courts have allowed civil unions.
The 21-15 vote followed more than an hour of debate that included personal discussions about God, civil rights and family. The Senate's three openly lesbian members spoke of their experiences, while another lawmaker spoke of his 50-year interracial marriage.
"At its core, this bill is about affording all Californians dignity and respect," said Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica.
The bill now goes to the Assembly, where it failed by four votes earlier this year and faces an uncertain future as the legislative session winds down next week. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not take a position on the bill, but he recently suggested that a legislative effort to approve same-sex marriage could backfire.
Opponents of the measure said the Senate vote flew in the face of a 2000 ballot initiative that defined marriage laws as being between a man and a woman, and they promised to go to the polls next year with constitutional amendments that would ban same-sex marriage.
The author of the bill, Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, watched the Senate debate and said it was a proud day.
"The state Senate embraced our common humanity in promotion of and defense of our basic precept of our state Constitution, which is that all citizens are created equal and all citizens are deserving of full and equal protection under the law," he said.
AB849 does not require any religious organization to recognize or perform marriages for same-sex couples. The bill makes the law defining marriage gender-neutral. California state law did not place gender into the marriage code until 1977.
Leaders of the lesbian and gay rights movement celebrated the vote as not only a historic victory but as a possible bellwether of a monumental shift in their crusade.
"In every civil rights struggle, there is a moment when the tide starts to turn, and I want so much to believe that history will look back on this day and this vote as that moment for our community," said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
That organization is a large part of the vanguard of the national gay rights movement and has won several historic legal victories for gays and lesbians, including a state Supreme Court decision last week that granted full parental rights to gay and lesbian parents who aren't biologically related to their children.
Opponents said the bill violates the essence of what marriage is about: a family in which to raise children.
"The reason marriage is fundamentally different from a civil contract is that marriage is formed for a fundamental purpose -- that is, to bring a new life into the world," said Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks (Ventura County).
All of the "yes" votes came from Democrats, and most Republicans voted "no."
Supporters, who said the bill could be heard in the Assembly as soon as Tuesday, hope the momentum of the Senate vote will help tip the scales in favor of the bill. Schwarzenegger, when asked in January if gays should be legally allowed to marry, told The Chronicle's editorial board that he preferred current California laws that allow for domestic partnerships and for same-sex couples to enjoy some of the same rights as married couples.
"I feel most comfortable with the way it is right now," Schwarzenegger said. "Eventually, in a few years from now, you can readdress it again and see what the people of California think. You cannot force-feed those kind of things."
Several cases involving same-sex marriage are winding their way through the court system, and at least two initiatives explicitly saying that marriage and its rights can be granted only to a man and a woman may be headed for ballots next year.
A March decision by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer, who ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violated the state Constitution, is in the appellate process on its way to the California Supreme Court.
Several lawmakers said they believed their vote on the bill would be one of the most important they cast as lawmakers.
"When I leave this Legislature, I want to tell my grandchildren that I stood up for dignity and the rights of all," said Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont.
Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta (Riverside County), said members should listen to a higher power when deciding how to vote.
"I don't think there is a member in this chamber who doesn't somewhere -- either readily on the surface or somewhere deep down inside -- know that this is not the right thing to do," he said. "Where does that come from? It comes from a higher power."
But Sen. Richard Alarcón, D-Sun Valley (Los Angeles County), Los Angeles, said he "absolutely" believes the bill is right.
"The last time I checked, a higher power created all of us. In the eyes of God, they are all human beings, all equal to him," he said. "Why are they not equal to us?"
Opponents had singled out three female senators running for statewide office with phone banks and mail, but all supported the measure.
Sen. Deborah Ortiz, a Sacramento Democrat running for insurance commissioner, said her office had received more than 4,000 calls but that it would not sway her vote. Opponents also focused on Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey (Los Angeles County), who is running for secretary of state, and Sen. Jackie Speier, a Hillsborough Democrat running for lieutenant governor.
Supporters of the bill also predicted political fallout.
Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California, the organization leading the effort for same-sex marriage in the state, said that if the Democrats who refused to vote on the measure seek higher office, they will have to explain their votes and could face a Democratic primary challenge.
In 2000, voters approved Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families, said the Senate's vote will cause a strong backlash against the Legislature.
"This in-your-face attack means California voters will rise up and vote to amend the state constitution and override the politicians who apparently couldn't care less about the people's vote of marriage," Thomasson said.
How they voted
Richard Alarcon, D-Sun Valley (Los Angeles County); Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara; Debra Bowen, D-Marina Del Rey (Los Angeles County); Gilbert Cedillo, D-Los Angeles; Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata (Humboldt County); Joe Dunn, D-Garden Grove (Orange County); Martha Escutia, D-Whittier (Los Angeles County); Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont; Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego; Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica; Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach; Carole Migden, D-San Francisco; Kevin Murray, D-Los Angeles; Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento; Don Perata, D-Oakland; Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles; Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto; Nell Soto, D-Pomona (Los Angeles County); Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough; Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch; Edward Vincent, D-Inglewood (Los Angeles County)
Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley (Nevada County); Dick Ackerman, R-Tustin (Orange County); Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield; Jim Battin, R-La Quinta (Riverside County); John Campbell, R-Irvine; Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks (Sacramento County); Jeff Denham, R-Salinas; Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga (San Bernardino County); Dean Florez, D-Shafter (Kern County); Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta (Riverside County); Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County); Bob Margett, R-Arcadia (Los Angeles County); Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks (Ventura County); Charles Poochigian, R-Fresno; George Runner, R-Lancaster (Los Angeles County)
NOT VOTING (4)
Denise Moreno Ducheny, D-San Diego; Michael Machado, D-Linden (San Joaquin County); Bill Morrow, R-Oceanside (San Diego County); Jack Scott, D-Altadena (Los Angeles County)
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