Washington State Will Convert All Domestic Partnerships to Marriages on June 30

Washington state plans to convert thousands of domestic partnerships to marriages on June 30, the Seattle Times reports:

WashingtonIt’s the final piece of the state’s same-sex marriage law — a provision about which many couples are apparently unaware and one sure to trigger some uncomfortable conversations.

Although domestic partnerships are essentially marriage by a different name, “people don’t think of them as the same thing …” said Jason Holloway, president of QLaw Association, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bar association.

Those being plunged into matrimony will no doubt include couples who simply hadn’t given it much thought.

Or there will be those who broke up in the years since they registered as domestic partners, some of them now married — illegally — to other people. Some may be former Washington residents now living in other states — some in states where their partnerships aren’t recognized and where dissolution isn’t possible.

The Secretary of State plans to notify all those in the domestic partner registry by the end of March, approximately 6,500 couples.


  1. HOFFENPOT says

    Maine was the first state to grant marriage equality by popular vote (by a nose edging out Maryland). Then Minnesota rejected their anti-gay marriage amendment (the first and so far only state to do so by popular vote). Then Washington State came through. All of this happened on an unforgettable night: November 6, 2012. A corner was definitely turned then and we’ve had a dazzling winning streak since. That was just a little over a year ago and the number of equality states has jumped from 9 to 17.

  2. says

    Different states are handling this differently. In Vermont there was no automatic conversion from CUs to marriage. CU’d couples who want to be married had to get married; they then had the option of whether to keep or dissolve their CU.

    The complications of piecemeal equality.

    Maine has a special place in the popular vote category because equality was passed by the legislature, stopped by the people, then approved by the people after our side pro-actively put it on the ballot, a first.

  3. Jason B. says

    I am glad to see such enthusiastic endorsement of Gay marriage but from a legal perspective I don’t see how happy all of those folks will be. Some may not be so thrilled they now split their net worth with someone they hadn’t thought they were at that level with. Granted I don’t know Washington marital law but assuming its a community property state this might make one person very happy, not so much the other.

    I recently lost my mom, she was in a registered DP, which was not recognized by Florida. It made things much more cumbersome for her partner and that fact disallowed her partner from suing or taking any legal action against a doctor as they weren’t married. My sister and I can’t either in Florida as you have to be a minor or a spouse to take action in Florida against a doctor. I am looking forward to a consistent following of marriage of all in all states.

  4. Steven C. says

    Couples in Washington with DPs can petition the Sec of State to not convert the DP to a marriage. This was written into the law to protect senior citizen couples who would lose retirement benefits if they were to be married.

    It is an automatic conversion to marriage unless the couple takes action.

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