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.
The 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.
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.