The California Catholic Conference, which represents all the bishops in the state, has decided not to support a marriage-protection initiative that would also void domestic partnership rights. However, it will co-sponsor two less stringent proposals.
The attorney general approved the three proposed amendments to the state constitution. In order to qualify for the June 2008 ballot, each initiative requires signatures from 694,354 registered voters.
VoteYesMarriage.com, a project of the Campaign for California Families, is circulating the initiative the bishops refuse to support. This measure, titled “Marriage. Elimination of Domestic Partnership Rights”, would restrict marriage in California to one man and one woman and void all domestic partnership rights previously adopted by the state.
"We do not work with them as their tone, tactics and rhetoric are disturbing," Carol Hogan, Pastoral Projects and Communications director for the California Conference, told the Tidings.
The Tidings reported that the bishops would co-sponsor two other initiatives. One would enshrine in the constitution that marriage in California must be between one man and one woman. The other also includes the one-man, one-woman definition, but adds: “the amendment shall not affect the rights, benefits and obligations conferred by California law on other domestic relationships.”