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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Domestic Partnerships Approved

posted by on March 1 at 12:37 PM

State Sen. Ed Murray’s bill creating domestic partnerships for gay couples (and giving gay couples the same basic rights as married het couples, including hospital visitation, the right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner, the right to inherit property without a will, and the right to make funeral arrangements) just passed the state senate on a vote of 28 to 19. The bill is expected to pass the state house, and Gov. Christine Gregoire has said she will sign it into law.

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Thanks Ed, keep doing what you do.

Posted by Codes | March 1, 2007 12:46 PM

So how soon before gay couples can get domesticated? I somehow doubt there will be a stampede.

Posted by impossible prince | March 1, 2007 12:48 PM

Ed Murry is destroying the sanctity of straight partnerships!

Posted by mason | March 1, 2007 12:48 PM

I'll sign up for it, but I still wish it were something more comprehensive.

Posted by Gitai | March 1, 2007 12:58 PM

Take your victories where you can get them. This is a big step forward for Washington. Congratulations. When's the House vote?

Posted by Fnarf | March 1, 2007 1:06 PM

YEAH!!!! SUPER NEWS!!! Now to be a realist.... you know this is going to create another ballot initiative to try and overturn it. DO NOT GET TO COMFORTABLE!!! LOTS MORE FIGHTING FOR US TO DO UP AHEAD!!!!!

Posted by Andrew | March 1, 2007 1:11 PM

Fuck yeah! Go Washington!

Posted by Carollani | March 1, 2007 1:16 PM

Thanks Ed. We will remember when you want to run for Congress.

Posted by George | March 1, 2007 1:20 PM

Doesn't go far enough... what about the straight folks? Tough shit to them is the message I am hearing.

Posted by ~~o~~ | March 1, 2007 1:20 PM

o~~~, they can do something called "get married."

Posted by MoTown | March 1, 2007 1:27 PM

@9, are you seriously trying to claim we straights are getting screwed somehow? You are very confused.

I am super happy for the gays, and our state. Hooray!

Posted by Levislade | March 1, 2007 1:32 PM

Goin' to the chap'el an I'm,
Gonna get domestic partnershi'iped

Yeah, it doesn't flow like I'd like it to but it's something.

Thanks Ed!

Posted by monkey | March 1, 2007 1:37 PM

So finally Dan Savage will end his heathen bachelor ways and stop "living in sin".

Posted by Jake of | March 1, 2007 1:38 PM

This is not a done deal.

As I slogged before, my rep told me that they have received thousands of e-mails against the domestic partnership and marriage equality bills and only a handful in favor.

Please contact your rep and Governor Gregoire ASAP and ask them to support the bills.

Donít know who your legislator is? Click here:

Posted by Original Andrew | March 1, 2007 1:47 PM

Yay, maybe god will stop punishing us with weird weather for letting New Jersey be more progressive!

Posted by gfish | March 1, 2007 1:48 PM

MOTOWN? Why should they get married? Marriage is a fucking shame created by religion to codify family rearing and has been recognized as a legal union. Just because gay people want to participate in that shame and get married doesn't mean straight folks have to. No, this bill is so wrong. It creates two classes and you seem to want that division... staights get married, gays get DP. If I don't like it, I can just fuck off, huh?

that is just plain wrong.

it is no sweet victory. It is a victory of bitter ashes. it creates an unequal division amongst ALL WASHINGTON CITIZENS.


Damn. a person would think the gay community would embrace equal, not seperate. a bitter victory IT IS.

Posted by ~~o~~ | March 1, 2007 1:49 PM

they can do something called "get married."

Umm well what about us 'straights' who don't believe in the bullshit of marriage? I would love to just live out the rest of my years with the man I love. Why should I have to marry him if I don't believe in marriage? Can straights have the same rights as in gay "domestic partnership"? Or do we all have to get married and live unhappily ever-after?

Posted by F.S. | March 1, 2007 1:52 PM

This is great news. Is it perfect news? Of course not. But it is great news.

Does unequal status remain? Of course it does. Is the disparity a little less with this bill? Of course it is.

Here's to hoping that the disparity shrinks even more when the house passes this and the Gov. signs it.

Way to go, Ed.

Posted by Timothy | March 1, 2007 1:57 PM

I'm sure Tim Eyman already has his petitions printed up to repeal this.

Posted by elswinger | March 1, 2007 2:05 PM

F.S. and ~~o!@(I!)(@# whatever...

it's true, you straights deserve that option. and we'll fix it, eventually. right now, though, gays have nuthin'.

my girlfriend had to wait in the waiting room for days while i sat in critical care. if i had died, she probably wouldn't know unless my parents stopped passing through the waiting room. any move to not put anybody through that again is completely worthwhile, no matter what tweaks need to be made after its enacted.

Posted by black/blue | March 1, 2007 2:09 PM

Good times, and great news!

Posted by Willis | March 1, 2007 2:13 PM

~~o~~, F.S. and Co.,

Contact your legislator and ask them to amend the bill (assuming it becomes law) in the next session to include all straight couples.

Most will be very responsive to your request.

Posted by Original Andrew | March 1, 2007 2:16 PM

And I'm not talking about that kinda D.P.-- at least not right now, anyways.

I'm super, super, super excited for all of the gay couples in Washington State. This is wonderful news.

But, like F.S. and ~~o~~, I'm not in any rush to get "married," but I would like legal rights to my (opposite sex) partner.

The battle will be truly won when "marriage" is relegated to the realm of the Church and "domestic partnerships" are the realm of the State, and open to any couple, gay or straight, who so desires.

Posted by I wanna get D.P.'d, too! | March 1, 2007 2:20 PM

black/blue... nice horror story. Here's mine...

My boyfriend had a constant presure in his chest for 8 months. He said it felt like someone was sitting on his chest all the time. He was unemployed. I had a shit job. I got a new job, one which the insurance company allowed for domestic partner benny's... but only if the company was in a city that legally recognzed domestic partners (same sex, opposite sex, they did not discrimate)... fortunately, Seattle did. He got insurance, I paid an extra $300/month. married folks, same plan, $100/month. He got to go to the doctor and was diagnosed with a cancerous turmor in his chest. You know what, it was so bad, that his doctor actually called THE DOCTOR OF AN HMO... ever hear of such a thing... on NEW YEARS FUCKING DAY... yeah it was bad, just like your girlfriend was in bad shape. 5 years later, thank God, he is alive and kicking. Cancer free.

Point is, life is hard. It could now become a little easier, but only for gay folks. Straight folks are shit out of luck. Him and I were lucky... we lived in Seattle... same HMO plan, but had the company been located in, oh, anywhere else in the state just about... he would have died.

See, we all have hard luck stories... but this domestic partner bill does nothing to help the straight folks. So, how does your victory taste now? Or do you all not give a shit about the straights?

Posted by ~~o~~ | March 1, 2007 2:28 PM

what @23 said

Posted by ~~o~~ | March 1, 2007 2:32 PM


Contact your legislator. They are the only ones who can help you with this, and they need to hear your story.

Posted by Original Andrew | March 1, 2007 2:33 PM

Steps forward. Marathon ain't over, but the finish line is a bit closer with this.

#9: marriage is what you make of it. No need to view it as others do (eg, contract with God, ownership of the woman, whatever). So the 'b.s. of marriage' sounds like your disagreement with how others view it. But marriage DOES give societal benefits that gays didn't have at all.

Posted by him | March 1, 2007 2:34 PM

I completely agree with you, ~~o~~, that opposite sex couples should have the opportunity to file for domestic partnership rather than being forced into the realm of "marriage," with all that that implies, to gain legal rights to their partner.

The point, though, is that as a straight couple, if you wanted to get the same benefits, the opportunity has always been there. Fifteen minutes and a few dollars later, you could have had the legal rights that you so desired. And your insurance would have been $200 a month cheaper. You chose not to, and to go the domestic partnership route, and you were lucky to have that choice available to you.

But your argument that if you had been living somewhere else in the state, you would have been SOL is totally flawed. You could have gotten married.

Same sex couples don't have that option.

So, while I would like to see myself and my opposite sex partner in a "domestic partnership" sometime in the future, the main battle at hand is opening the door for same sex couples.

Once that's done, allowing us straights to get domestic partnerships as well, well, that's a piece of cake.

Posted by I wanna get D.P.'d, too! | March 1, 2007 2:38 PM

Sorry about your troubles ~~o~~, but the victory still tastes pretty sweet.

The victories are incremental. I wish straight people were included, and I'm sorry they're not. But a horrible wrong still got a good bit less wrong.

Also, your emplyer's DP policy sucks, no matter what the law says. You can do something about that.

Posted by David Summerlin | March 1, 2007 2:39 PM


yep, that sucks. and it sucks that that had to happen to anyone, gay or straight, my story or yours. but you've got an option, even if it's a shit one. i don't.

straight folks get lots of love (and straight-positive activism) from me. i'll certainly write up a letter asking for straight domestic partnership.

Posted by z is for xylophone | March 1, 2007 2:43 PM

My story is nothing new... sickness and health are part of everyone's life. But this bill from the very beginning was only about GAY FOLKS... the news I read from Murray was that it was intentional and not something created while it was in committee. It was introduced not with same/opposite sex language but only for same sex. It was worded so that the right-wing fundi COULD NOT ATTACK IT as an attack against marriage.

Great legislative leaveraging, it seems. But it creates UNEQUAL groups, which is wrong. Anything which divides is WRONG morally. It is morally wrong if a WASP does it, it is morally wrong if an ethnic minority does it, it is wrong if a straight person does it, it is morally wrong if a gay person does it. There should not be a law which creates unequal groups of people. Laws should get rid of the unequalness in America, in Washington. A law should not create it. If it does, then the law is wrong and must be changed. Why not do it MORALLY correct in the first place, so there is no need to back pedal?

Posted by ~~o~~ | March 1, 2007 2:46 PM

don't feed me the line that "GAY PEOPLE GOT NO OPTIONS". Boo who, poor you. Bullshit to that. Unmarried people, gay or straight, have just as many options... which are jack and shit.

When this passes (yeah, I want it to pass, even if it is morally wrong. anything which tells the right wing to shove it up their asses... their BIG PICTURE MORALLY WRONG ASSES is more ok with me than not) unmarried gay people will have more options then straights. So boo who on me and all straight people then.

Posted by ~~o~~ | March 1, 2007 2:54 PM

~~0~~, if you're asking me to sacrifice political strategy for some high minded moral principle that only ensures I will continue to be excluded, then I say no.

If you have a problem with gay people getting access to rights and privileges due them, you should just say it. Because that's what it sounds like you're saying.

Posted by David Summerlin | March 1, 2007 2:56 PM

Oh for fu-

Look, ~~o~~ your story is truly sorry, but this is not a "they win, we lose" scenario. If anyone is fucking you over, it's the hyper-moralistic shitheels on the Far Right, who view your domestic partnership as "living in sin", and therefore only slightly less onerous than a gay domestic relationship. Blame them for your situation, NOT, repeat, NOT - the GLBT community, which has had to struggle not only with the reality of having NO LEGAL RECOURSE (unlike you, even if you CHOOSE not to exercise it) in a similar situation, but who furthermore have had to deal with centuries of open hostility from elements in society that would prefer to burn them at the stake for their carnal sins, while they merely despise you for your "transgressions".

And yeah, contact your legislator, because I'm fairly certain everyone would be really, really happy if your relationship were recognized in the same way as (hopefully) gay relationships will now be.

Posted by COMTE | March 1, 2007 3:08 PM

If you ask me, ~~0~~ is trying to stir a turd that ain't go no stink.

If you are opposed to "marriage" on some sort of principle, the lack of marriage benefits is the price you pay for that principle. Gay folks, on the other hand, are just screwed - principle or not.

So buck up and stop bitching - or just get married.

Posted by Nobody like a whiner | March 1, 2007 3:14 PM


You say you want the rights that go with marriage, but refuse to sign up for it due to your principled rejection of the concept of marriage? Wha-? If you want the protection of marriage, get married. If you don't want or reject the religious trappings, have an atheistic ceremony or just stop thinking about it: but don't complain about "separate classes" when you right now can get married or no, as you choose, and gay people can't.

Basically, I'm sorry the "domestic partnership we had to pass to keep the religious right off our backs we all know it sucks ( FOR GAY PEOPLE) but its the best we can do right now" compromise doesn't address your personal issues with and rejection of the state of marriage, but, well, that wasn't a problem to be solved by the state.

Posted by torrentprime | March 1, 2007 3:26 PM

Good. It's something. Had a recent scare with my partner that made me worry we could end up in an icky hospital situation. . . nightmares of battling shit out with her christian conservative mother. . . nice to think that avoiding that will become simpler.

Posted by Violet_DaGrinder | March 1, 2007 3:29 PM

Now we just need a pair of breeders to try to get a domestic partnership, and sue when they are denied the right to obtain a license for a "not quite marraige."

Can you see the lawsuit? "Your Honor, I don't want the full privileges and responsibilities of marraige, and I don't see why my love of a person of another gender should deny me the opportunity to obtain a benefit conferred by this State."

This might be a great way to move the issue of gender discrimination into court and eventually make marraige available to any two consenting adults. In the sorry current state of our consitutional law, discrimination against sexual orientation is permissible if a state has a mere "rational basis" for it. But when it is discrimination based on gender, the court applies "heightened scrutiny" to the actions taken by a state, because gender identity is currently far more protected.

For another perspective on the WA legislature's 'rational basis' to deny marraige to unions of the same gender, check out the full post entitled 'Children' at 'The Sandbox' at in the doonsbury section

Name: CAPT Doug Traversa
Posting date: 2/26/07
Stationed in: Kabul, Afghanistan

(blogging about a conversation with a local translator)

..."Well, in America, we can only have one wife. Suppose I had gotten married, and my wife could not have children. What should I do?"

Hamid answered easily and quickly. "You should divorce her and marry someone else. What is a marriage without children?"

The cultural gulf exploded in my face. The utter casualness with which he said this was as shocking as when Wali told me gays and apostates should be executed.

"I married my wife because I love her. Why in the world would I leave her if she couldn't have children? I want to be with her."

Posted by r | March 1, 2007 3:34 PM

Wait. I'm confused.

~~o~~, maybe I'm a dolt, but I sincerely don't understand. Why not just get married? It would have given you all the benefits you would get from the proposed DP bill and a whole lot more. You'd have gotten the cheaper insurance (which is sort of a distraction really -- this is more a problem with our overall healthcare system, and less a problem of DP/marriage rights).

Certainly I can understand that if you are not a religious person, you might not want some big church ceremony. I'm an atheist, and would have nothing to do with a church wedding. But despite all the hype, a church ceremony is completely optional. You could go down to the courthouse, pay a minimal licence fee, and presto, you're married. No church necessary.

So I really don't understand why you would NOT want to simply get married if you want the added rights and you want to live with your guy forever.

The only explanation I've heard that makes any sense is for widows/widowers who would loose their deceased spouse's benefits if they legally re-married. But that doesn't sound like the issue with you.

Please explain. What is your objection to marriage?

Posted by SDA in SEA | March 1, 2007 4:04 PM

Yeah, I'm pretty sure ~~0~~ isn't for real. I know plenty of straight people who don't want to get married, but this perspective doesn't check out logically. There's too much complaining about the gay folks in all caps. The poster's got other issues s/he isn't letting on about.

Posted by David Summerlin | March 1, 2007 4:37 PM

So, at least the marriage industry is still safe in B.C. - had me worried for a few secs there.

Meet someone, get hitched in Vancouver B.C., live together in Seattle.

Works for me.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 1, 2007 5:06 PM

Nope, no problem with gay people. Love um. They love me. I have a LTR with a man. The man swings as he swings, even anonymously I try to respect what he goes in for. I am using the word gay to be inclusive. Lesbian would be a good word for me, but it excludes the dudes. And gay is polite. Fags I guess I could use, we use it for ourselves, but that word is impolite. Right?

Don't look into the all-cap words too much... I did it so my words would stand out, and html tags can be a drag at times.

Do I have a problem with gay people? good question. I do have a problem with gay people who have a problem with me. Since college people have been pigeon holing me... fuck even Dan Savage had this big fucking thing about bisexuals in the early 90's... something about not believing that bisexuals were real or something. Shit or get off the pot was the message the GLBT crew memed at the time. (HEY FAGGOT was all the rage as a "must read" and live as the sage Queen Savage dictated). Fortunately, for the young folks out there today, he for one has mellowed in his opinion. Its not that I am calling Dan out, I use him as an example of how some people in the media and community looks at my relationship... which is that we are fucking loonies. Lepers or some shit. whathave you. Do I have a problem with gay people? I have a problem with everyone who will not let me live in peace. Straight or gay. I am very equal in who I hate. They have to hate me first. I am equal opportunity that way.

This bill is nothing more than the "purely" same-sex gay community trying to pigeon hole me again. If you are straight, "HEY HOW'S IT FEEL WITH THE SHOE ON THE OTHER FOOT". If you have "straight" leanings, I keep on hearing, then I have no place. The "gay" community has no room if a woman you fucks women loves a man. Loves a man, and wants to have a life with that man, but not marry. Fuck that.

And fuck you if you think that. I know hetrophobes are reading this right now, so FUCK YOU.

And yeah, I am stirring the turding to see if it stinks... and so far, by these posts I see... the turd does stink. It smells like intolerance.

Intolerance of the life style I have... I like who I like, I love who I love. And that is that. But no Domestic Partnership for you, unless I find a woman to sign-up with. Intolerance of straight folks, and folks who have a same sex relationship, is going to be made into law.

Posted by ~~o~~ | March 1, 2007 5:29 PM

Oh and to say I am somehow stupid because I don't want to get married, like I am the moron for not wanting to get married. WHAT A FUCKING STUPID RETORT.

You sound like my mom. I'll tell you what I told her "I don't want to get married." But it is not fair that we don't get the same things as married folks. WASHINGTON STATE does not recognize common-law marriage, and sure, we could leave the life and family we have here, but why should I MOVE TO HAVE RIGHTS?


Posted by ~~o~~ | March 1, 2007 5:35 PM

~~0~~, You're distraught. Take your pills and go to bed, dear.

Posted by Nobody Likes a Whiner | March 1, 2007 7:21 PM

Sounds like ~~0~~ has some anger-management issues.

In addition to gender identification issues, parental issues, relationship issues, commitment issues --

C'mon fess up. Are there any issues you DON'T have? And have you discussed these with your therapist recently?

Posted by COMTE | March 1, 2007 10:47 PM

~~o~~, your story is heartwrenching. But is marriage so unthinkable to you that you couldn't stand to get married even just to make sure the man you love has access to the best medical care?

I really don't get all the straight people who have such big issues with marriage. You claim you want to spend the rest of your lives with your partners, and it provides you with rights (that clearly ALL people should have regardless of sexual orientation). Who cares! Seriously. At least susbstantiate your viewpoint. It might help people like me understand why marriage is so awful.

Posted by HHhh | March 4, 2007 1:26 PM

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