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Senate Approves Change to Marriage Definition: Voters to Make Final Decision

The State Senate voted last week to amend the state constitution redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. ACA 5 will remove the text added in 2008 by Proposition 8 that reads “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” and replace it with “The right to marry is a fundamental right.” Bill author Assemblyman Evan Low (D-San Jose) assured his Republican colleagues that the new definition would only apply to same-sex couples and not include polygamy, group marriage, or child marriage.  

The vote was largely partisan, with only one Republican voting yes, Senator Scott Wilk (R-Lancaster). Unlike the debate in the Assembly where no one spoke in opposition, one Republican Senator, Brian Dahle, tried to explain why he couldn’t vote for the bill. “Some of my most awesome relationships are with people who are married to the same sex,” Dahle said, “I love [them] so much. But today’s vote for me is about my faith and where I believe that I’m accountable to what my heart is with my Lord and Savior. It is not about whether I judge you or not.” 

ACA 5 will now go before the voters in the form of a proposition on the 2024 ballot. This is a God-given opportunity for Christian leaders throughout the state to explain to the culture God’s perfect design for marriage as the foundation for flourishing families and a healthy society.

CFC Capitol Director Greg Burt tried to explain this to state senators when he testified against ACA 5 in the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee. “Since the dawn of civilization, governments have historically acknowledged that a union between a man and a woman creates an optimal family environment for the upbringing of children. Despite recent court rulings, faithful Christians remain steadfast in their commitment to God’s definition of marriage, which has been a source of societal stability for thousands of years,” Burt said. “We believe there is something uniquely beautiful, divinely inspired about the male-female marriage relationship. Marriage is not a man-made invention, but a fixed feature in the natural order. Tampering with this order invites heartache and pain.”

Watch State Senators above explain their support and opposition to ACA 5. Numerous Senators invoked Jesus and Christianity in their testimony, some sharing personal stories about the pain they felt knowing their Christian family members would not approve of their same-sex marriage because of their faith. 

Final Vote on ACA 5.


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