News (USA)

Washington state House approves bill to recognize out-of-state gay unions

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Lawmakers in the Washington state House of Representatives have passed a bill which would allow same sex marriages performed in other states to now be recognized.

The bill, passed in the House late Friday by a vote of 58-39, now moves to the Senate, but opponents are fighting hard.

Via The Seattle Times:

Current law recognizes out-of-state domestic partnerships and civil unions, but excludes same-sex marriage from that recognition.

[The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Laurie] Jinkins said her bill would correct that disparity.

“This is not a big deal – we’re not extending any new rights,” she said. “It says if you have a marriage in another state, you get a domestic partnership here. You don’t get marriage here – you get a domestic partnership.”

Opponents argued this is just one step closer to allowing same-sex marriage in Washington state, and is directly undermining the state’s Defense of Marriage Act that was passed in 1998 to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

The bill would basically allow any same-sex marriage performed in other states to be recognized as a Domestic Partnership in Washington.

The difference between Domestic Partnerships in Washington state, and those performed in other states, is that in 2009, voters approved a law which gives Domestic Partnerships all the same rights as marriage in the state of Washington.

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