Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Washington State Law: Unmarried Folks Now Virtually 'Married'

Gov. Chris Gregoire has approved a measure that gives same-sex domestic partners all the rights and benefits that Washington state offers married couples.

-- From "Gregoire expands same-sex partnerships" by Lornet Turnbull, Seattle Times staff reporter 5/18/09

The law will take effect July 26 unless opponents seeking to repeal it can collect enough signatures to get a referendum on the November ballot.

They will then have about 60 days — until July 25 — to collect 120,577 signatures. If they are successful, the law would be suspended until voters decide the referendum.

As of Monday, there were 5,395 registered domestic partners, representing every county in the state.

The signing comes three years after the state Supreme Court ruled against 11 gay and lesbian couples seeking the right to marry in Washington and upheld the state's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that limits marriage to one man and one woman.

Charlene Strong, a Seattle [lesbian] . . . said while she is thrilled with the advancements, she's eager for the next step: reversal of DOMA.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.