The Attorney General’s office today approved the title and summary of one such amendment that can now be circulated to gather the signatures necessary to qualify it for the ballot in 2006.

The ballot measure would amend the state’s Constitution to repeal existing rights, benefits and responsibilities for legally recognized domestic partners and permanently ban marriage protections for same-sex couples.

If the measure passed it would have far reaching consequences such as requiring a tax increase on property jointly owned by unmarried couples, including senior citizen couples, upon the death of either partner. It would deny health insurance, hospital visitation, inheritance rights and medical leave to thousands of diverse Californian families.

"This new ballot measure does not improve the living conditions for African American families," commented California resident and NBJC board member Jasmyne Cannick  "It’s harmful not only to gay and lesbian families, but also affects unmarried couples, including senior citizens.  All families should be treated fairly under the law with the same protections, rights and responsibilities."