A resolution supporting a state bill to give gays the legal right to marry was unanimously passed Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council, with members saying the issue was an extension of both the civil rights and women’s suffrage movements.
Currently, gays in California can participate in domestic partnerships, which confer many of the rights of marriage. But partnerships granted in California are not recognized in other states, and participants do not receive federal privileges that married people receive, such as the right to inherit a partner’s Social Security benefit.
Immediately after the 11-0 vote in the council, the resolution was walked over to the office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who signed it and then had it faxed to Sacramento.
The Los Angeles council resolution started in the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Gay and Lesbian Caucus pushed it. Garcetti put the matter before the council, and his colleague Jan Perry seconded it.
Councilmen Bernard C. Parks and Greig Smith were in the council Tuesday, but both left the chamber before the matter was debated and voted on.
Such "walks" have historically allowed elected officials to avoid voting. They also are a way for council members to give their peers the chance to see their legislation pass unanimously.
"It’s not my issue," said Smith, who added that he doesn’t agree with gay marriage, but didn’t vote so the matter could be passed unanimously.