SB 54, a bill authored by Mark “cigar store” Leno and signed into law earlier this month is intended to “resolve ambiguities about how out-of-state same-sex marriages will be recognized in California.” But it is still hard to understand what rights are retained if you are, say, an online journalist writing an article about it at low blood sugar o’clock on a Friday.

Equality California‘s put together a fact sheet that helps take what is an admittedly confusing set of legal stuff and make it into something close to understandable.

Too lazy to click on that PDF? Here’s the important stuff to know about SB 54:

First, it clarifies that couples who married outside of California before November
5, 2008, are entitled to full recognition as married couples in this state.

Second, it ensures that couples who get married outside of California on or after
November 5, 2008, will receive all of the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of
marriage except for the name “marriage.”

Still have questions about the bill? Operators are standing by.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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