Hastings Women’s Law Journal


California's AB 205 (The Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003) promises to bestow upon gay and lesbian couples many of the rights afforded to opposite-sex couples under State law. Despite its intentions, however, AB 205 has created an air of uncertainty and apprehensiveness among California's registered domestic partners. This Article provides an analysis of AB 205, contrasting its proposed effect with its likely interpretation and recommending revisions. Additionally, this Article addresses the implications of creating legal relationships outside of a marriage paradigm. While gay and lesbian couples undoubtedly benefit from the recognition of the limited rights these alternative legal partnerships provide, this Article argues that domestic partner legislation serves to undermine the fight for marriage by allowing for a compromise position which fails to deliver on the promise of equality.