DOMESTIC PARTNERS: Senate Approves Limited Measure
The state Senate yesterday approved a limited same-sex domestic partners bill along party lines yesterday (23-14), with Republicans arguing the measure would "open the door to gay marriages and violate God's will." Speaking against the measure, which would also bestow "hospital visitation rights, beneficiary rights in wills and conservator in certain probate cases," state Sen. Richard Mountjoy (R-Arcadia) said, "This bill is wrong. Men sleeping with men and women sleeping with women is wrong. It is wrong because God said it is wrong." The measure would also allow heterosexual couples to register as domestic partners. Approved less than a week after the state Legislature "quietly" granted its staff heterosexual and homosexual domestic partner health benefits, the bill has "nothing to with an intimate or physical relationship," said sponsor state Sen. Kevin Murray (D- Los Angeles). Rather, it is "aimed chiefly at senior citizens who live together and care for each other in 'their twilight years,'" he said. To qualify for the proposed domestic partner registry, a couple "would need to share a residence, be responsible for one another's basic living expenses, be at least 18 years old, be unmarried and not be a member of another domestic partnership." The bill now goes to the Assembly, which has seen efforts at a domestic partners measures fail in 1994, 1995 and 1997 (Ingram, Los Angeles Times, 5/26). The AP/San Jose Mercury News reports that Gov. Gray Davis has not yet taken a position on the bill (Lawrence, 5/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.