(CNN) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that requires the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states while such marriages were legal in California.
California will recognize same-sex marriages from a period of time before Proposition 8 was enacted.
Same-sex marriages performed elsewhere between June 16, 2008, and November 5, 2008, are to be legally recognized, as are in-state marriages performed during that time.
The end date represents when a ballot initiative, Proposition 8, added a ban on same-sex marriage to the state constitution.
Proposition 8 bars the state from recognizing any marriage performed outside the state outside those dates. The state Supreme Court ruled after the proposition passed that marriages performed before the ban would remain on the books.
But Senate Bill 54 splits a legal hair and requires the state to recognize such marriages as "unions," providing "the same legal protections that would otherwise be available to couples that enter into civil unions or domestic partnerships out-of-state," the governor said.
"In short, this measure honors the will of the people in enacting Proposition 8 while providing important protections to those unions legally entered into in other states," Schwarzenegger said in a signing statement accompanying his signature. He signed the bill Sunday.
Proponents of Proposition 8 lambasted the governor.
"The governor's signing of SB 54 illustrates his disregard for the sovereign authority of California's voting citizens," said Everett Rice, a spokesman for the California Family Council.
"In 2000 and 2008, the voters expressed their desire at the ballot box to protect traditional marriage. They emphatically affirmed that marriage should retain its historical definition and identity. However, today the governor has joined with other elected representatives by choosing to place the demands of special interest groups over more than 7 million California voters."