OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington state House has passed a bill that would create domestic partnerships for same-sex couples, and the measure now heads to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is expected to sign it into law.Seattle P-I:
Also applies to heterosexual seniors
Similar to California law, unmarried, heterosexual senior couples would also be eligible for domestic partnerships if one partner were at least 62. Lawmakers said that provision was included to help seniors who are at risk of losing pension rights and Social Security benefits if they remarry.
A handful of amendments failed, including one that would have required a vote of the people, and another that would have included all people who care for others, including grandparents and siblings.
The domestic partnership measure is Senate Bill 5336.
OLYMPIA -- Gays and lesbians can't yet legally wed, but the Legislature took another step toward that end Tuesday by passing domestic partnership legislation for same-sex couples.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, has been the Legislature's lead gay rights advocate.
"In 1998, this Legislature shamefully acted to discriminate against gay and lesbian families when they passed (Defense of Marriage Act)," Murray said. "Today, with the passage of the domestic partnership bill we begin to undo that shameful act by providing some protections."
Murray said the bill was a step closer to gay marriage.
"I think we are closer to marriage than people realize but it's still a multi-year process, it's still going to take a lot of work," he said.