Press

Task Force applauds historic passage of California same-sex marriage measure

Date: 
September 07, 2005

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds historic passage of California same-sex marriage measure

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is lauding the successful efforts of its California partner, Equality California, in securing historic passage of legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in that state. Last night, the California Assembly passed the measure, previously approved by the Senate, making California the first state in the nation to sanction same-sex marriage without a court order. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has until Oct. 9 to veto or sign the measure.

"We have enormous respect for Equality California, and allies such as the NAACP and United Farm Workers, for their hard-fought efforts to end discrimination against same-sex couples. History was made last night in California due to their efforts and the support of fair-minded legislators. During this particular week in our nation's history when the importance of family is so tangible, the California Assembly has made the right decision. It's now the governor's turn to do what's morally correct — sign this measure without hesitation or fear," said Rea Carey, the Task Force's deputy executive director.

The Task Force is making a major commitment to California to help the state maintain its leadership on equality and to defeat state constitutional amendments that seek to preclude marriage equality for same-sex couples and remove all legal protections guaranteed under California's comprehensive domestic partnership law. The measures are expected to be on the ballot in June 2006. The Task Force's commitment includes training, voter identification, organizing key communities, as well as significant financial assistance.

The Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign announced May 31 they would donate up to $100,000 each as a challenge to raise $1 million to fight proposed amendments. The $200,000 grant was the first large financial commitment to the Equality for All Coalition, an unprecedented alliance of more than 200 religious, labor and civil rights organizations from throughout California, including the state chapter of the NAACP and the United Farm Workers.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.