July 2, 2007
Dear Attorney General Brown:
Pursuant to Elections Code Section 9005, we have
reviewed the proposed initiative regarding marriage (A.G. File No.
Federal Laws. The U.S. Constitution
does not define marriage nor does it require states to define marriage.
Current federal law only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman.
(The law affects matters such as the receipt of federal benefits and
State Laws. The State Constitution
currently does not define marriage. Under current California statute,
only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized. Couples
of the same sex where both partners are at least age 18, or unmarried
couples of the opposite sex where at least one partner is 62 years or
older may register as domestic partners. In most instances, registered
domestic partners are provided the same rights and benefits as married
couples. Rights of marriage include, but are not limited to, alimony and
community property rights.
This measure amends into the State Constitution
what is currently in statute and makes marriage only between a man and a
woman valid or recognized in California. The measure does not affect
“the rights, benefits and obligations” given to other domestic
relationships under California law.
The measure would have no fiscal effect on state
or local governments. This is because there would be no change to the
manner in which marriages are currently recognized by the state.
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