Because our Supreme Court believes procreation is a rational reason to ban gay marriage, every year Washington legislators introduce bills to expand the rights of

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New Domestic Partnership Bills Aren't Messing Around

Because our Supreme Court believes procreation is a rational reason to ban gay marriage, every year Washington legislators introduce bills to expand the rights of domestic partners.

This year's bills are properly bold, making domestic partnerships the equivalent of marriage in everything but name. Language like this indicates makes it clear there will be no more nibbling at the edges:

It is the intent of the legislature that for all purposes under state law, state registered domestic partners shall be treated the same as married spouses. Any privilege, immunity, right, benefit, or responsibility granted or imposed by statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law or any other law to an individual because the individual is or was a spouse...is granted on equivalent terms, substantive and procedural, to an individual because the individual is or was in a state registered domestic partnership...The provisions of this act shall be liberally construed to achieve equal treatment, to the extent not in conflict with federal law, of state registered domestic partners and married spouses.
Read the Senate bill here and the House bill here. It's still horseshit that Washington can't call gay partnerships marriages, but if these bills pass, it'll be a huge step in the right direction.

Update:

A list of some of the rights the bills would grant:

  • The right to use sick leave to care for a spouse
  • The right to wages and benefits when a spouse is injured, and to unpaid wages upon death of spouse
  • The right to unemployment and disability insurance benefits disability insurance issues
  • Workers' compensation coverage
  • Insurance

    rights, including rights under group policies, policy rights after

    death of spouse, conversion rights, and continuing coverage rights

  • Uniform Parentage Act requirements related to child custody and child support
  • Victims' rights, including the right to receive notifications andbenefits allowances
  • Business succession rights
  • Legal

    process rights, such as the ability to sign certain documents, the

    requirement to join in certain petitions, rights to cause of action,

    and ability to transfer licenses without charge

A press conference on the bills is scheduled for noon and will be broadcast live (including online) on TVW.

Updates from the press conference: The bill is expected to hit committees next week. Because it doesn't grant marriage rights and because there is no concept of domestic partnership at the federal level, domestic partners from Washington will still be denied 1,138 benefits from federal law.
 
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