By Troy Espera, 247Gay.com
San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno will introduce new legislation to allow gay marriage when the Legislature reconvenes for its new session Monday.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Leno, a Democrat, said his bill will be nearly identical to one vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in September 2005.
California law currently does not permit gay marriage, but many of the same rights and responsibilities are granted to gay couples who register with the state as domestic partners.
Leno likened the state's system to "separate but equal" accommodations.
"The idea that we would want to say one group of citizens doesn't love equally, and for that reason we won't grant them a marriage license, is in my opinion not only unfair, unjust and un-American, it's also unconstitutional," Leno told the Bee.Leno's bill would require California to recognize marriage as a civil contract. It would not force churches to honor same-sex unions...