Washington State Legislature Passes Bill Expanding Domestic Partner Rights
Legislation that will expand the rights of domestic partners under Washington state law passed the state legislature this week and now goes to Governor Chris Gregoire, who has said that she will sign the bill into law. The state House passed the bill (see PDF) Wednesday in a 62 to 35 vote after the state Senate passed the bill on a 30 to 18 vote in March.
The bill expands the state's two-year-old domestic partnership statute, which provided about 160 rights and responsibilities of the approximately 400 granted to married couples. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 250 additional rights and responsibilities are granted to couples with domestic partnerships under the current bill.
In a statement, Governor Gregoire said "I want to thank the legislators who worked tirelessly to get this bill passed in the House. This legislation will expand basic benefits, provide better financial security and ensure equal treatment for domestic partners living in Washington state. Our state is one that thrives on diversity. We have to respect and protect all families that make up our communities. I look forward to receiving this bill, and signing it into law."
Media Resources: Washington State SB 5688 History; Statement of Governor Chris Gregoire 4/15/09; Human Rights Campaign Press Release 4/16/09