sneak attacks

Prop 8 Be Damned: What If California Recognized Other States’ Gay Marriages?


When the California Supreme Court in May decided to ban all same-sex marriages from that point forward, but keep valid the 18,000 gay marriages that already went down, it never addressed one other little matter: what to do about out-of-state gay marriage. Enter State Sen. Mark Leno, who wants to give the Mormon Church an aneurysm with a new bill that would recognize those unions.

Just like Washington D.C.’s City Council did, California could be en route to banning gay marriage in its own borders, but opening itself up to gay Iowans and Bay Staters who wed in their home states. S.B. 54 would amend state family law and, argues Leno, remain within the confines of the court’s ruling.

The fine print: Only couples who wed out of state before Prop 8 passed would get to use the word marriage; couples who wed afterward would receive marriage rights, but not the M-word. The bill would seemingly encourage — or at least not disallow — Californians to travel to other states where gay marriage is legal, tie the knot, and return home demanding the same rights as married heteros.

Naturally, Prop 8 supporters are upset. Pacific Legal Institute president Brad Dacus calls the bill a “cheap shot.” Which it totally is! But no cheaper than, say, his team’s decimation of the wedding industry.