A bill by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, to modernize language in 18 sections of California law to reflect the fact that same-sex couples can now marry passed off the Senate floor on a bipartisan vote last week. The vote was 35-2.

Senate Bill 414 would change various code sections in California law mentioning a “husband” and “wife” to the gender-neutral term “spouse” to reflect the fact that same-sex couples can now legally marry in California.

“It’s important that the language in our laws accurately and clearly reflect the rights of Californians, and that we remove the bias that has existed in state code,” Jackson said. “This helps ensure the equal and fair treatment of all married couples in California.”

SB 414 builds on work done last year by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. Among other more substantive changes, Leno’s SB 1306 updated the Family Code to change the gender-specific terms “husband” and “wife” to the gender-neutral term “spouse.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.