A bill that recognizes the out-of-state
marriages of gay and lesbian couples with domestic partnerships
cleared the Washington House on Friday.
With a 58 to 39 vote lawmakers in the
Democrat-controlled House approved the measure sponsored by
Representative Laurie Jinkins, a Tacoma Democrat, The Olympian
“This bill is about fairness for all
families,” Jinkins said. “Right now, there's a hole in the law.”
Lawmakers in 2009 extended domestic
partnerships to include all the rights and protections granted to
married heterosexual couples. Opponents of the law put it up for a
vote and campaigned to repeal it, but voters decided to keep the law.
The out-of-state domestic partnerships
and civil unions of gay couples are currently recognized, but the law
“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 balked at the late night
debate, asking why it wasn't taking place “in broad daylight,”
when voters had a chance to hear what was going on.
The measure now heads to the Senate.