California Initiative Proposes Abolishing All Marriage from Law

Wed Mar 11, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By Kathleen Gilbert

SACRAMENTO, March 11, 2009 ( - California same-sex "marriage" supporters are collecting signatures to support a ballot initiative that would remove civil marriage from California law entirely, as well as the provision codifying marriage as between a man and a woman.

The "Domestic Partnership Initiative" proposes to categorize all unions simply as "domestic partnerships," while retaining all the rights of marriage for heterosexual couples, and extending them to homosexual couples.  According to the initiative’s summary, "Legally speaking, ‘Marriage’ itself would become a social ceremony, recognized by only non-governmental institutions."

State Attorney General Jerry Brown submitted the official title and summary for the measure on Monday, about one week after opening arguments in lawsuits challenging Proposition 8, California’s true marriage amendment. 

The new initiative arose after it was widely acknowledged that judges appeared unconvinced that the state Supreme Court should overturn the voter-approved amendment. 

Kaelan Housewright and Ali Shams, the two college students behind the initiative, must collect the signatures of about 700,000 registered voters by August 6 in order for it to make the ballot. 

"[The initiative] is more like a compromise that mediates the two sides," said Shams. "This isn’t a gay rights campaign, it’s an equal rights campaign. You can see it as an attack on marriage, but you can also see it as protecting marriage because we are taking it out of the battlefield."

Frank Schubert, the pro-Proposition 8 campaign manager, told the San Francisco Gate that eliminating all types of marriage was unlikely to gain broad public support and called it "fundamentally a dumb idea."

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