The General Assembly Judiciary Committee passed SB 1140 on a 7-1 vote late Tuesday afternoon.
State Sen. Mark Leno says his legislation is meant to protect churches that refuse to perform same-sex ceremonies from being threatened with the loss of their tax-exempt status in the future. Should the bill become law, it would define marriage as “a personal relation arising out of a civil, and not religious, contract.”
The bill, which passed the Senate nearly three weeks ago, may soon come before the full General Assembly for a floor vote.
Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council, pointed out that the bill was drafted by the gay-activist group Equality California — and its only real purpose is to get same-sex marriage on the legislative fast track should the U.S. Supreme Court strike down the state’s current constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.