Asm. Low and Sen. Wiener Introduce Constitutional Amendment to Repeal Proposition 8
Sponsored by Equality California and civil rights organizations, ACA 5 would bring a 2024 ballot initiative to voters to remove anti-same sex marriage language from the California constitution
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - February 15, 2023 - In an effort to combat anti-LGBTQ+ hate and protect marriage equality, Assemblymember Evan Low and Senator Scott Wiener introduced ACA 5 Tuesday. ACA 5 is a constitutional amendment intended to protect same sex-marriage with plans to remove Proposition 8's (2008) discriminatory language from the state's constitution that was approved by voters - Prop. 8 declared "only marriage between a man and a woman" as valid or recognized in California.
"Californians believe in love, simply put. Repealing Proposition 8 is the right thing to do to ensure that marriage equality is protected now and for future generations," said Assemblymember Evan Low. "California leads the way in LGBTQ+ protections and cutting-edge pro-equality legislation and our constitution should reflect those values."
"Repealing Prop 8 is an essential step in protecting the freedom to marry for millions of LGBTQ Californians," said Senator Scott Wiener. "This scar on our Constitution is unconscionable, and it needs to be removed, especially with extremist Supreme Court Justices threatening to overturn marriage equality. It's time to send this issue to California voters to right this wrong."
Although marriage equality is currently protected by Judge Vaughn Walker's 2010 ruling striking down Prop. 8 and the 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell, it has become increasingly clear that The Supreme Court cannot be trusted to protect our civil rights and liberties. If the Court was willing to overturn five decades of precedent guaranteeing the right to abortion (as they did with the Dobbs decision last year), it cannot be assumed it will uphold less than a decade of precedence protecting marriage equality, particularly in light of statements made by Justices Thomas and Alito referring to Obergefell as a "problem" and "threat."
The recent passage of the Respect for Marriage Act was an important step forward - it requires the federal government to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages and affirms that states must recognize valid marriage licenses from other states -but it does not require states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
"Today, on Valentine's Day, we are reminded that marriage is about love, commitment, and family. Same-sex families should have certainty and the freedom to live without fear that their marriage could be taken from them," said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. "The overwhelming majority of Californians - 71%, an all-time high which includes people from across the political spectrum - support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Equality California is committed to continue addressing the pressing issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, including the alarming increase of anti-LGBTQ+ attacks against the trans community while advancing this constitutional amendment."
"While LGBTQ+ Californians enjoy some of the strongest legal protections in the country, vestiges of discrimination still linger in our Constitution and our culture. The repeal of Prop 8 is one critical step toward ensuring lived equality for all," said Carlos Marquez III, Executive Director of ACLU California Action. "We look forward to working with our coalition partners, Asm. Low, members of the LGBTQ Legislative Caucus, and legislative leadership on this repeal effort as well as the other work ahead, which must include making additional investments particularly in our trans communities, who continue to experience violence, discrimination, and injustice."
"The right to marry is fundamental. All couples deserve to know that their marriages are secure and recognized in the eyes of the law," said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. "We are proud to support this effort to repeal Proposition 8, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that marriage equality remains the law of the land in this country. We also know that removing this hateful language from the state's constitution will not end the ongoing deadly violence, legislative assaults and constant threats facing LGBTQ+ people across the country, especially our transgender community, and we look forward to continuing to fight for full equality for everyone in our community, without exception."
"We are grateful to Assemblymember Low and Senator Wiener for taking this critical first step to remove this shameful endorsement of inequality from California's Constitution," said Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "Especially when LGBTQ+ people are under attack in so many states across the country, it is more essential than ever that California lead the way in affirming the equal dignity of every person, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, ability, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. Repealing Prop 8 is an important part of a much larger battle."
Equality California is the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating, and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org