California senate approves gay marriage

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PARIS — The French Senate on Friday approved a bill to allow same-sex couples to wed and adopt children, leaving France poised to join the small group of nations that have fully legalized gay marriage, despite an unexpectedly vocal campaign by conservative opponents. Should the bill pass, parliamentary conservatives have vowed to challenge its constitutionality, though precedent suggests that a rejection by the Constitutional Council, which rules on such matters, would be unlikely. Same-sex marriage has been legalized in several American states, some areas of Brazil and Mexico and 12 countries, half of them in Europe.

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Follow the RSS feed for this page:. A fact sheet provides an overview of the situation in the nations where same-sex marriage is legal nationwide as well as countries that allow it in certain jurisdictions. Since then, support for same-sex marriage has steadily grown.

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Proposition 8known informally as Prop 8was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment passed in the November California state elections. The proposition was created by opponents of same-sex marriage in advance [2] of the California Supreme Court 's May appeal ruling, In re Marriage Caseswhich followed the short-lived same-sex weddings controversy and found the previous ban on same-sex marriage Proposition 22unconstitutional. Proposition 8 was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a federal court on different grounds inalthough the court decision did not go into effect until June 26,following the conclusion of proponents' appeals.

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While groundbreaking, the law affords same-sex couples only two benefits: hospital visitation rights and health insurance coverage for the dependents of government employees covered by CalPERS, the state retirement system. Just 14 words long, Proposition 22 was one of the shortest initiatives ever placed on a California ballot. Gray Davis signs a bill that substantially expands the rights granted domestic partners. The bill adds about a dozen legal benefits, including the right to make medical decisions for a partner in the hospital, use sick leave to care for an ill or incapacitated partner and relocate with a partner without losing unemployment benefits.

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Both legislative bodies are controlled by Democrats. But the political dynamic on the issue shifted after Governor Christine Gregoire, a Democrat in her final year in office, announced last month she was backing the gay marriage bill. The vote was greeted with raucous cheers from gay couples and their supporters, and with determined looks from opponents.

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A week after the State Senate voted in favor of a same-sex marriage bill, the State Assembly approved the measure on Tuesday, making California the first state in the nation to pass a bill allowing gay marriage. Though gay-rights supporters were loudly celebrating the victory in the gallery of the Assembly house in Sacramento, the party could be a brief one. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger — who has said he accepts the idea of gay marriage — could veto the bill, according to The Associated Pressbecause of his belief that it is an issue that voters or the state courts should decide.

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For years, same-sex couples in states that recognized legal marriage were wrongfully denied federal refunds because DOMA did not allow them to file federal taxes jointly. Windsorbut the IRS still lacks the authority to override limitations in the tax code that limits to three years the period within which a married couple may file jointly after having filed separate returns. This bill would correct that to allow the IRS to provide refunds to same-sex couples who married in states that recognized same-sex marriage before DOMA was overturned.

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The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in California on June 26,allowing all same-sex couples in California the ability to marry once and for all. History and the Path to Victory: August 17, The California Legislature passes a state statute restricting marriage to different-sex couples. Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill into law.

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Supporters of same-sex marriage held a vigil after the U. Supreme Court heard arguments on California's Proposition 8, the controversial ballot initiative that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Senators voted in favor of the bill, which was passed by the lower house in December.

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By Associated Press. Above: State Sen. State Sen.

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