In the most recent California effort to “modernize” family convention, the state Assembly on Thursday passed AB 1951, a new bill that would allow all California parents to list themselves as “mother,” “father,” or “parent” of a child in order to reflect same-sex marriages, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The bill passed by a vote of 51-13, with several Republicans voting in favor. No Republicans spoke in opposition.
Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) introduced the bill in February and said in an Equality California press release at the time, “The definition of a family needs to be more flexible, and same-sex parents should not be discriminated against when filling out a birth certificate. Under AB 1951, same-sex parents will be able to accurately identify each parent as mother, father or parent.”
Currently, state birth certificates have one space each for “mother” and “father,” and the “father” space can be left blank. According to the AP report, supporters of the bill argue that this practice discriminates against same-sex couples by forcing them to inaccurately represent themselves on the forms.
The bill will reportedly move to the Senate for a final test and, if signed into law, would take effect in 2016.
The birth certificate bill is just the latest California initiative to target traditional family definitions: earlier this month, the state Senate passed SB 1306, a bill that would replace “man and woman” language in the California Family Code with “gender-neutral” language.