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.
Article continues belowThe 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.