The California Senate made history today by becoming the first legislative body in the nation to pass equal marriage rights legislation for same-sex couples.  Assembly Bill (AB) 849, The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno (D-Francisco), Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles), and 30 co-authors passed with 21-15 and now heads for an Assembly floor vote.  If passed, California will become the first legislature in the country to pass equal marriage rights legislation for same-sex couples.  In Massachusetts, the state Supreme Court ruled that nothing less than marriage rights would be considered equal.  The Massachusetts legislature then outlined how they would implement this ruling, but did not pass marriage equality legislation.  California will have passed marriage equality without any court involvement, but as the people’s legislative body to treat all Californians equally.