California Governor Signs Bill Replacing Words ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’ in State Law

The terms “husband” and “wife” have been deleted from California’s marriage law under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The terms will be replaced with “spouse” to accommodate same-sex marriage, which became legal in the state last year after the Supreme Court struck down a voter-approved ban on it.

SB1306, the bill signed Monday by Brown, takes effect Jan. 1 and reflects the legality of gay marriage after a decade of litigation. The law also removes limits on recognizing same-sex marriages performed out of state.

The language was enacted after voters approved Proposition 22 in 2000. The initiative was struck down by the California Supreme Court in 2008, prompting voters to amend the constitution and ban gay marriage.