California governor says he’ll sign bill extending rights of domestic partners
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Embattled Gov. Gray Davis announced Saturday he would sign legislation giving domestic partners most of the same legal rights that married couples have.
The bill has passed the state Assembly and is scheduled to be considered Monday by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Davis usually doesn’t indicate how he feels about legislation before it reaches his desk, but he’s done so for a number of bills recently, including measures dealing with access to abortion and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
Aides say the announcements have nothing to do with Davis’ efforts to fend off a recall attempt.
Davis said the legislation drafted by Democratic Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg helps ensure “fairness for all Californians.”
“As governor I will continue to do everything within my power to honor the dignity, humanity and privacy of every Californian regardless of their ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation,” Davis said.
The domestic partners bill would, among other things, allow domestic partners to file joint state income tax returns and give them the same tax exemptions enjoyed by married couples.
It would also give them the same rights as married couples regarding the acquisition, transfer and sharing of property, health insurance and pension coverage and collection of government benefits, including public assistance.
“When this bill is signed it will be a truly historic day for everyone who supports civil rights,” said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California, a gay rights group. ——–
On the Net: Read the bill, AB205, at http://www.assembly.ca.gov