The League of Women Voters supports equal rights for all under state and federal law. The League supports legislation to equalize the legal rights, obligations, and benefits available to same-gender couples with those available to heterosexual couples.
The League of Women Voters of California opposed Proposition 8 on the November 2008 ballot. The proposition was passed by the voters on November 4, 2008 with 52 percent of the vote.
Background on Proposition 8
The constitutional amendment created by Proposition 8 used the same language as an earlier statute, Proposition 22, which passed in 2000. Proposition 22 added a provision to the Family Code stating that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
The LWVC opposed Proposition 22 and participated in a successful lawsuit to retain the Attorney General’s title for Proposition 22, which made it clear that the proposition placed a limitation on marriage but did not define marriage. Proposition 22 ultimately passed on March 7, 2000.
Background on the League's Position
The League of Women Voters takes stands on ballot measures only if it has existing positions or principles on which to base its stand. The LWVC based its opposition to Proposition 8, and its earlier opposition to Proposition 22, on the following principles and positions of the League of Women Voters of the United States.
The League of Women Voters believes that . . . no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination.
LWVUS Social Policy Position:
The LWVUS Social Policy statement of position is to secure equal rights and equal opportunity for all; promote social and economic justice and the health and safety of all Americans. Under the LWVUS Equality of Opportunity position, the League supports equal rights for all regardless of sex. The League supports action to bring laws into compliance with the Equal Rights Amendment: a) to eliminate or amend those laws that have the effect of discriminating on the basis of sex; b) to promote laws that support the goals of the ERA.
LWVUS Individual Liberties Position:
The League opposes major threats to basic constitutional rights.
LWVUS Equality of Opportunity Position:
Delegates to the 2010 Convention of the LWVUS added the following to the LWVUS Equality of Opportunity Position: The League of Women Voters of the United States supports equal rights for all under state and federal law. LWVUS supports legislation to equalize the legal rights, obligations, and benefits available to same-gender couples with those available to heterosexual couples. LWVUS supports legislation to permit same-gender couples to marry under civil law. The League believes that the civil status of marriage is already clearly distinguished from the religious institution of marriage and that religious rights will be preserved.