California Labor &
Employment Law Blog

Oct. 12 2009

California Will Recognize Rights of Same-Sex Couples Married Outside California

Topics: New Laws & Legislation

Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 54 into law, granting same-sex coupleslegally married outside ofCalifornia the same basic rights, benefitsand obligations as married couples living in California. This new law ameliorates some of the effects of the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage that was passed in November 2008 and later upheld by the California Supreme Court. SB 54 amends Section 308 of the California Family Code toprovide that California will recognize same-sex marriages validly contracted outside ofCalifornia, by ensuring thatthese same-sex couples will have the same rights, protections and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, duties and obligations under law asmarried couples--with the sole exception of having the designation of "marriage" in California.

For California employers, this means that same-sex coupleslegally married outside of California willneed to be afforded the same rights and benefits asregistered domestic partners (in 2003, Californiaenacted a law affording registereddomesticpartners manyofthe same rights and benefitsas married couples). This includes, of course, access tofamily healthinsurance plans and the ability to use certain types of leaveto attend to the illness of a partner.

To view the textof SB 54, click here.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent represents employers, including major food and retail companies, in all types of employment litigation: wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, wage and hour (California Labor Code) and unfair competition. She also regularly counsels and advises California employers on issues of compliance with California and federal employment laws.
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