California Marriage Protected for Now, Group Says

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - "Good news," said a conservative group that is defending traditional marriage in California.

A bill that would make California marriage licenses "gender neutral" -- thus paving the way for homosexual 'marriage' -- died in a state Assembly committee on Wednesday.

The Campaign for California Families said the bill may be gone for now, but CCF warned it will be back next year -- with the support of the Assembly's Democratic leader, Fabian Nunez, who has promised to get it passed in the next legislative session.

"For the sake of the children, the overwhelming majority of Californians want marriage protected for a man and a woman this year, next year and always," said CCF's Randy Thomasson in a press release.

"Why do the Democrat politicians keep pushing for homosexual 'marriage' when the people have repeatedly said 'no'? The strategy of Leno and the Democrat bosses is going to backfire. These corrupt politicians are teaching voters that to protect marriage, you have to oppose Democrats!"

The Campaign for California Families is among the groups leading the charge against AB 1967, formally known as the Marriage License Non-Discrimination Act. Conservatives call it the "homosexual marriage licenses" bill.

Equality California, a homosexual advocacy group that is pushing for passage of AB 1967, said the bill will be held until December -- "in an attempt to build further support for the legislation."

But Equity California also hailed the recent "remarkable progress" toward "marriage equality" in California.

"The public debate has shifted dramatically from whether lesbian and gay couples should receive any legal recognition to how that recognition should be provided," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California.

"The impact of the marriages performed in San Francisco after Mayor Gavin Newsom ended discrimination in the issuance of marriage licenses cannot be underestimated," Kors said in a statement.

What happened recently in San Francisco "moved the debate forward," Kors said - to the point where "California is now poised to become the first state to end marriage discrimination against same-sex couples through the legislative process in 2005."

The Marriage License Non-Discrimination Act would return California's marriage laws to their pre-1977 state when they were gender neutral, Equity California said.

But the Campaign for California Families said any move to legalize homosexual unions flies in the face of Proposition 22, which voters passed overwhelmingly in 2000. The initiative defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Although AB 1967 has died in committee, the protests against it will not stop.

On Saturday, May 22, the Campaign for California Families and other pro-family organizations will hold what they're calling a Rally to Protect Marriage.

"The large outdoor event at the State Capitol North Steps will celebrate the defeat of AB 1967 and rally the people to demand that the Democrat politicians never bring back the bill again," CCF said.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.