Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment passed into law by the majority of California voters in November 5, 2008, provides that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

But on October 12, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law SB 54 which states that while California’s constitution remains unchanged, California courts will recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages which contracted prior to the passing of Proposition 8.

The new law does not recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages contracted after November 5, 2008, but it does provide that parties contracted in out of state same-sex marriages would be afforded the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, as specified, as are granted to and imposed upon spouse with the sole exception of the designation of “marriage”.

A legal challenge to constitutionality of Proposition 8 goes before the Supreme Court early next year.

The text of the new law can be found here.