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Family Council Says Bill Will 'Further Undermine & Confuse Marriage'

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At the Meet in the Middle 4 Equality Rally in Fresno, May 2009 (more photos here) | AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian

The California Family Council this week went on the offense about a bill making its way through the legislature that would redefine marriage, literally. As they explain, Senator Mark Leno's SB 906 would make "several unnecessary changes to the state Family Code related to the definition of marriage by replacing the term 'marriage' with the phrase 'civil marriage,' attempting to create a new class of marriage."

And here's how Leno explains it: "Some opponents of equal marriage rights for all couples have cited fears that churches and religious institutions will be forced to perform any and all marriages. This bill resolves any uncertainty by reaffirming that religious denominations and individual clergy members are free to determine which marriages they solemnize and that they will not lose their tax exempt status for refusing to solemnize marriages contrary to their faith."

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The Family Council, however, is not buying it. "Despite Senator Leno’s and supporters’ claims, SB 906 is actually a direct assault against the more than 7 million voters that supported Proposition 8. Supporters have repeatedly stated that this bill is necessary to assist in their efforts to repeal Proposition 8 in a future election," their newsletter stated. "The purpose of SB 906 is to further undermine and confuse marriage, by creating multiple marital categories such as 'religious marriage,' 'civil marriage' or 'non-civil marriage.' These multiple marriage designations would lead to new definitions of each, eventually giving the Courts opportunity to redefine marriage."

The bill was approved in a Senate Committee and awaits a hearing on the Senate floor.