Washington’s Domestic Partner Law Goes into Effect Today


This is Washington Governor Christine Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certifying the results of the November election in which Referendum 71 was approved by voters:

"The new law had been on hold pending the public vote, and will now go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, 30 days after the Nov. 3 General Election. The law is Senate Bill 5688 and applies to state-registered domestic partners, both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples where at least one partner is 62 or older.

According to the canvass of returns certified by Secretary Reed and later proclaimed by Governor Gregoire, R-71 had 951,822 votes to approve the law and 838,842 to repeal."

Gay couples in Washington state now have everything but marriage.


  1. Jesse says

    Am i understanding this correctly? One partner needs to be over 62 years of age. So it’s “everything but marriage” for senior citizens only? That seems odd. I hope i’m just confused!

  2. FizziekruntNT says

    LOL! It was written in a slightly confusing manner, Jesse, but I believe the law states that the rights of “everything but [the title of] marriage [and its Federal applications]” apply for the following:

    * state-registered domestic partners

    * same-sex couples

    * opposite-sex couples (where at least one partner is 62 or older)

    Ain’t English a bitch?

  3. Tweety says

    Call it whatever you want, I just want the rights. Can we kick the semantics can down to the next generation and secure protection and benefits NOW?!?

  4. John says

    Washington’s domestic partnership was modeled after similar laws in California, Oregon, and Nevada.

    Because voters have approved constitutional bans on same-sex marriage in all those states, legislators had to include opposite-sex couples to avoid the charge of illegally creating an institution “similar to marriage” specifically for same-sex couples and circumventing the will of the people.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    Of course, Washington doesn’t have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage at this time. But the heterosexual seniors provision will make sure the DP law survives such a ban unless it is specifically written to outlaw both SSM and DP.

  5. rick says

    Right On; benefits now. Screw the word marriage. We need rights. Federal rights. My buddy of 28 years sure as hell do at least. But what this should really be all about is getting rid of DOMA and educating the public about DOMA. Most people (even young educated ones) haven’t a clue what it is.

  6. says

    I am so proud of the voters in Washington state for approving this bill. At least one corner of this country–5 million strong– will not be cowed by lying hatemongers.

  7. D says

    My agency just turned on the programming that will calculate state industrial insurance benefits at the same rate for registered domestic partners as it will for married couples (they get 65% of their wages as opposed to 60% for single workers). The programming was completed last July but it’s been on hold during the referendum process.