A year after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and paved the way for gay marriage, some vestiges of the old marital bureaucracy still remain.
Today, Governor Brown took care of one of them, signing a measure that would update state law show that gay marriage is legal in California. The old family code described marriage as a union between "a man and a woman"; the new one uses genderneutral terms.
Hence, all references to "husband" and "wife" have been changed to "spouse" or "marital partner." The legislation also affects a provision that denies certain benefits to people cohabiting with "a person of the opposite sex." Now, that cohabiting party is an unsexed "nonmarital partner."
State Senator Mark Leno introduced this bill in February, along with cosponsor Attorney General Kamala Harris and several LGBT rights groups. It met opposition from conservative groups like the California Family Council, but otherwise passed easily.