Opposite-sex couples now have an alternative to marriage in California.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law on Tuesday that lets opposite-sex couples register as domestic partners.
California has recognized same-sex domestic partnerships since 2000. But the law only applied to same-sex couples because it was designed to give them the same legal protections as marriage.
In 2015 a U.S. Supreme Court ruling effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. The ruling had no effect on the state’s domestic partnership law.
This year, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener filed a bill to eliminate the ban on opposite-sex couples. He said some couples might prefer domestic partnerships for financial reasons or because they oppose marriage for its historic and cultural connotations.