California has provided benefits to same-sex partners of state employees since 1999.
This initiative was struck down by the California Supreme Court in In re Marriage Cases, but a few months later, Proposition 8 reinstated California's ban on marriages for same-sex couples. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court's holding in Perry v.
During the time between the California Supreme Court decision and passage of Proposition 8, the state allowed for tens of thousands of marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples. Horton affirmed that those marriages were still valid after passage of Proposition 8. Schwarzenegger determined that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional due to violations of the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered a stay of the judgement pending appeal. Schwarzenegger that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, although on narrower grounds.
The Marriage Recognition and Family Protection Act also established that a same-sex marriage performed outside the state is recognized as "marriage" if it occurred before Proposition 8 took effect.
This category also includes same-sex marriages performed before same-sex marriage became legal in California.
The legislation removed the statutory reference to marriage as a union "between a man and a woman" from the states' Family Code and updated the law with gender-neutral terms to apply to same-sex marriages as well as heterosexual ones.
During its passage, some concern was expressed that, by repealing the California Defense of Marriage Act, SB 1306 breached the separation of powers as the legislature would be repealing an initiative passed by the voters.
Discrimination protections regarding sexual orientation and gender identity or expression have been adopted statewide since 2003.
Public schools are also required to teach about the history of the LGBT community and transgender students are allowed to choose the appropriate restroom or sports team in regard of their gender identity. to legalize domestic partnerships between same-sex couples in 1999.
607, authored by Assemblyman Bruce Nestande, was proposed and later passed to "prohibit persons of the same sex from entering lawful marriage." The act amended the Civil Code to define marriage as "a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the parties capable of making that contract is necessary." Opponents of the bill included Assemblyman Willie Brown (who authored the repeal of California's sodomy law in 1975) and Senator Milton Marks.
The bill passed 23–5 in the state Senate and 68–2 in the Assembly.
Proposition 8 proponents sought rehearing en banc (meaning review of the decision by a larger panel of Ninth Circuit judges) but this was denied in June 2012.