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Washington state to convert same-sex domestic partnerships to marriage

Monday, February 17, 2014

SEATTLE — Washington state plans to convert thousands of same-sex domestic partners into married couples on June 30, if they haven’t gotten married on their own or dissolved their union by then.

marriage-licenseThe change is the final piece of the state’s same-sex marriage law. But it’s a provision many couples are unaware of and some may not even like, reports The Seattle Times.

Some couples may have broken up years ago and are now married — illegally — to other people. Some live in other states where their partnerships are not recognized and dissolution is not possible.

Washington lawmakers authorized domestic partnerships in 2007, five years before same-sex marriages became legal. The law granted a range of marriage-like benefits to gay and lesbian couples, as well as to heterosexual couples in which at least one partner is 62.

At its peak, just before same-sex marriage became legal, some 10,000 couples were in registered DPs.

The same-sex marriage law signaled an end to domestic-partnership arrangements for most gay couples, giving them until June 30 of this year to either marry or dissolve their union.

By mid-to-late March, the Secretary of State’s Office plans to send out notices to those in the domestic-partnership registry, alerting them to the pending change.

As of Friday, an estimated 6,500 same-sex couples remained in the state’s domestic partner registry.

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52 more reader comments:

  1. That’s awesome! See, let people smoke a little pot and they RELAX lol

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:33pm
  2. Go Washington state!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:33pm
  3. <3 proud to be a Washington native. (most of the time lol) this is great news :)

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:34pm
  4. hey, can't be as bad as my home state (Louisiana)

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:36pm
  5. Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:34pm
  6. A few thoughts about all kinds of marriages.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:35pm
  7. although I can see where this may cause some problems, equal rights is equal rights. I support it.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:36pm
  8. God Bless America!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:37pm
  9. Yes.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:38pm
  10. trans and gay proud. i live in kentucky wish it was passed in all states. when the right man comes along to marry him. we should beable to marry who we want. congrads great news

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:39pm
  11. I need to see this law because it sounds unconstitutional as you are describing it. Although well intended, the State, with all its power, cannot simply unilaterally alter basic legal relationships voluntarily entered into by adults of sound mind. Certainly, Washington Can give Domestic Partners the option to easily change their partnership into marriage, even with something as simple as a check box on their tax form, but that would still require both the people in the partnership to consent.
    I am glad Washington wants to do the right thing, and really hope we have some good legislative aids who notice the constitutional problem here!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:40pm
  12. How I do agree with you, I think Washington has the mind set of "weeeelll, they would have entered a marriage if it was legal to begin with, they would not have gotten a domestic partnership if they had the option of marriage, so we might as well just give them marriage." I don't think most couples would complain, due to the hundreds of extra benefits, but I agree that they should have the option to choose and not be forced into a marriage.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:49pm
  13. They cannot, consistently with the U.S. federal constitution, be automatically switched from one legal contractual relation into another without their consent.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:59pm
  14. Like if I said to you "hey! you're sister and you? Yeah, siblings was a dumb idea. Congratulations! You're married!" because after all not all married people fuck see my point?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:00pm
  15. domestic partnerships were literally sold as allowing people who do not have sexual relations to enter into a familiar relation which would protect them, e.g. two very old childless people who needed SOMEONE to look out for them and take care of their legal affairs after death.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:00pm
  16. E.g. relatives in some jurisdictions could enter into domestic partnerships.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:01pm
  17. GO FOR WASH. STATE……….CONGRASSSSSS.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:40pm
  18. That is the RIGHT direction! Good job, Washington state!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:43pm
  19. Do registered domestic partners want this? What if they don’t?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:51pm
  20. what if they want to remain a domestic partnership??

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:53pm
  21. SUPER GREAT!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:53pm
  22. They can call it a Civil Union just so long as they have the same rights as married couples. It’s all symantecs anyway.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:53pm
  23. Fantastic!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:55pm
  24. Eric. New Hampshire did the same thing.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:56pm
  25. And get fucked out of the presents. Boo.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:57pm
  26. Everything is symantecs.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:58pm
  27. my home state is the best state.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:59pm
  28. very very cool :)

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:59pm
  29. YEAH

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:04pm
  30. Samarria Ladson

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:08pm
  31. Misty Grame

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:09pm
  32. Wisconsin are you hearing this!!!!!!!????????

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:10pm
  33. Fingers crossed that Colorado does the same thing!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:26pm
  34. Come on FL be next!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:30pm
  35. Most awesome.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:33pm
  36. They converted domestic partnerships to marriages in CT when same sex marriage became legal. It can be messy for those who haven’t dissolved those partnerships but are no longer together. They will have to get divorced and that is more difficult and costly.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:34pm
  37. Woo hoo!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:35pm
  38. :)

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:42pm
  39. Rightly so.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:53pm
  40. Best state.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:12pm
  41. May sound good on the face of it – but there are people who want DP and not Marriage – what would be the problem with letting people keep their status and change it when they decide in their good time to get married.?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:22pm
  42. Yes!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:24pm
  43. Congratulations

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:32pm
  44. good for them

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:35pm
  45. Incredible!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:37pm
  46. Love it

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:33pm
  47. This is a great move for human kind….its a great thing!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:03pm
  48. Docie Woodard and Linda Beal. VT should do this, too!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:15pm
  49. Just when Kansas is busy trying to bring back the confederate flag, a ray of light shines from Washington <3

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:12am
  50. Dooooooo it!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:13am
  51. Wonderful!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:16am
  52. How exciting! Lawyers are also excited. :-)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 3:00am