Update: The bill passed in the House late Friday night by a vote of 58 to 39!  The roll call is below the fold.  The bill now moves on to the Senate.


You’re on vacation in Washington state, taking in the misty beauty of the Olympic rain forest, the rolling golden glory of the Palouse or the mind-blowing cultural treasures of Tacoma and Seattle.  It’s all in fun until your husband or wife has an illness or an accident.

What happens if you’re married but the state you are visiting doesn’t recognize that marriage in any way, shape or form?  Your vacation becomes a nightmare.  Washington state recognizes domestic partnerships enacted in other states, but it does not recognize civil marriages validly formed in other states if the married couple is gay or lesbian.

Rep. Laurie Jinkins has sponsored a bill that would prevent these tragedies that stem from non-recognition of our marriages.  HB 1649, “Concerning reciprocity and statutory construction with regard to domestic partnerships”, would do the following:

  • Recognize as a valid domestic partnership in Washington state a legal union of two persons, including a marriage, that was validly formed in another jurisdiction and that is substantially equivalent to a Washington state-registered domestic partnership.

  • Amend the statutory interpretation provision to explicitly state that it applies to any legislation hereafter enacted by the Legislature or by the people unless the legislation expressly states otherwise.

    Here is Rep. Jinkins’ summation:

    The voters have already decided how they want gay and lesbian families to be treated in this state. There are five states in the country and about 10 other countries that allow same-sex marriages. This bill assures that marriages created in other places will be recognized as domestic partnerships when they are traveling in this state. Families travel with a lot of documents, like adoption paperwork, domestic partnership registration cards, and wills, especially if they are going to a state that does not have legal recognition of domestic partnerships. If a couple is traveling and they have a legal marriage recognized in their state, their relationship is currently not recognized in Washington, but a couple traveling here from a state that has domestic partnerships would be protected.

    Not a single person signed up to speak in opposition to the bill during the bill’s February 16th public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.  That didn’t stop anti-gay activists Rep. Matt Shea and Rep. Jay Rodne from proposing amendments to gut the bill, but those amendments failed and the committee voted to send the bill to the House floor.  Expect another round of ridiculous bill-gutting amendments from the usual suspects during the floor debate, which may happen as early as today.  

    Legislators should pass this bill if they respect the electorate (and value Washington’s tourism industry).  Rep. Jinkins hit the nail on the head when she said, in reference to Washington voters having ratified the domestic partnership law in 2009 via Referendum 71, “The voters have already decided how they want gay and lesbian families to be treated in this state.”  Now the Legislature needs to respond by bringing state law in line with the wishes of the electorate that gay and lesbian families in Washington be treated fairly, and that their legal relationships be recognized and respected.Roll call:

    HB 1649

    Domestic partnerships

    House vote on Final Passage

    3/4/2011

    Yeas: 58   Nays: 39   Absent: 0   Excused: 1

    Voting Yea:  Representatives Anderson, Appleton, Billig, Blake, Carlyle, Clibborn, Cody, Darneille, Dickerson, Dunshee, Eddy, Finn, Fitzgibbon, Frockt, Goodman, Green, Haigh, Hasegawa, Hudgins, Hunt, Hunter, Hurst, Jacks, Jinkins, Kagi, Kelley, Kenney, Kirby, Ladenburg, Liias, Lytton, Maxwell, McCoy, Miloscia, Moeller, Morris, Moscoso, Ormsby, Orwall, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Probst, Reykdal, Roberts, Rolfes, Ryu, Santos, Seaquist, Sells, Springer, Stanford, Sullivan, Takko, Tharinger, Upthegrove, Van De Wege, Walsh, and Mr. Speaker

    Voting Nay:  Representatives Ahern, Angel, Armstrong, Asay, Bailey, Buys, Chandler, Condotta, Crouse, Dahlquist, Dammeier, DeBolt, Fagan, Haler, Hargrove, Harris, Hinkle, Hope, Johnson, Klippert, Kretz, Kristiansen, McCune, Nealey, Orcutt, Overstreet, Parker, Pearson, Rivers, Rodne, Ross, Shea, Schmick, Short, Smith, Taylor, Warnick, Wilcox, and Zeiger

    Absent:  

    Excused: Representative Alexander

    Cross-posted at Washblog.

  • Update: The bill passed in the House late Friday night by a vote of 58 to 39!  The roll call is below the fold.  The bill now moves on to the Senate.


    You’re on vacation in Washington state, taking in the misty beauty of the Olympic rain forest, the rolling golden glory of the Palouse or the mind-blowing cultural treasures of Tacoma and Seattle.  It’s all in fun until your husband or wife has an illness or an accident.

    What happens if you’re married but the state you are visiting doesn’t recognize that marriage in any way, shape or form?  Your vacation becomes a nightmare.  Washington state recognizes domestic partnerships enacted in other states, but it does not recognize civil marriages validly formed in other states if the married couple is gay or lesbian.

    Rep. Laurie Jinkins has sponsored a bill that would prevent these tragedies that stem from non-recognition of our marriages.  HB 1649, “Concerning reciprocity and statutory construction with regard to domestic partnerships”, would do the following:

  • Recognize as a valid domestic partnership in Washington state a legal union of two persons, including a marriage, that was validly formed in another jurisdiction and that is substantially equivalent to a Washington state-registered domestic partnership.
  • Amend the statutory interpretation provision to explicitly state that it applies to any legislation hereafter enacted by the Legislature or by the people unless the legislation expressly states otherwise.

    Here is Rep. Jinkins’ summation:

    The voters have already decided how they want gay and lesbian families to be treated in this state. There are five states in the country and about 10 other countries that allow same-sex marriages. This bill assures that marriages created in other places will be recognized as domestic partnerships when they are traveling in this state. Families travel with a lot of documents, like adoption paperwork, domestic partnership registration cards, and wills, especially if they are going to a state that does not have legal recognition of domestic partnerships. If a couple is traveling and they have a legal marriage recognized in their state, their relationship is currently not recognized in Washington, but a couple traveling here from a state that has domestic partnerships would be protected.

    Not a single person signed up to speak in opposition to the bill during the bill’s February 16th public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.  That didn’t stop anti-gay activists Rep. Matt Shea and Rep. Jay Rodne from proposing amendments to gut the bill, but those amendments failed and the committee voted to send the bill to the House floor.  Expect another round of ridiculous bill-gutting amendments from the usual suspects during the floor debate, which may happen as early as today.  

    Legislators should pass this bill if they respect the electorate (and value Washington’s tourism industry).  Rep. Jinkins hit the nail on the head when she said, in reference to Washington voters having ratified the domestic partnership law in 2009 via Referendum 71, “The voters have already decided how they want gay and lesbian families to be treated in this state.”  Now the Legislature needs to respond by bringing state law in line with the wishes of the electorate that gay and lesbian families in Washington be treated fairly, and that their legal relationships be recognized and respected. (more…)

  • Laurel Ramseyer

    Laurel Ramseyer

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