In a move hailed by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocates, California Governor Gray Davis last Friday signed into law Assembly Bill 205 (AB205), granting same-sex couples rights in areas such as family care leave, child custody, property ownership, gift/estate tax exemptions, and making arrangements in the event of a partner’s death, reported the Los Angeles Times. “A family is a family not because of gender but because of values, like commitment, trust and love,” Davis told a crowd of supporters in San Francisco, according to the Associated Press. Just days after the law was signed, State Sen. Pete Knight (R-Palmdale) on Monday filed a lawsuit in the Sacramento Superior Court, seeking an injunction to a bill that “would force the state of California to promote unnatural family units that are not in the best interest of our children,” Gay.com/PlanetOut.com reported. AB 205 author Jackie Golberg (D-Los Angeles) dismissed Knight’s charge explaining, “He knows he can’t win. The Legislative Council already reviewed the bill to make sure it’s constitutional.”
Under the new law-slated to take effect January 1, 2005-domestic partners still lack rights granted to married couples, e.g. filing for joint tax returns, and Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ benefits, the LA Times states. The Times reports there are roughly 21,000 registered domestic partnerships in California.