The legislation removed the statutory reference to marriage as a union "between a man and a woman" from the states' Family Code and updated the law with gender-neutral terms to apply to same-sex marriages as well as heterosexual ones.During its passage, some concern was expressed that, by repealing the California Defense of Marriage Act, SB 1306 breached the separation of powers as the legislature would be repealing an initiative passed by the voters.California has provided benefits to same-sex partners of state employees since 1999.
Public schools are also required to teach about the history of the LGBT community and transgender students are allowed to choose the appropriate restroom or sports team in regard of their gender identity. to legalize domestic partnerships between same-sex couples in 1999.
SB 54 also mandates the full legal recognition of same-sex marriages lawfully performed outside of California after the passage of Proposition 8, with the sole exception that the relationship cannot be designated with the word "marriage".
The resumption of same-sex marriage in California on June 28, 2013 effectively supersedes this law with respect to out-of-state same-sex marriages.
In 1985, the City of Berkeley became the first governing entity in the state to recognize same-sex couples legally when it enacted its domestic partnership policy for city and school district employees.
The term "domestic partner" was coined by city employee and gay rights activist Tom Brougham, and all other domestic partnership policies enacted in the state in the years since are modeled after Berkeley's policy.