Washington state lawmakers have
approved a bill that recognizes the out-of-state marriages of gay and
lesbian couples with domestic partnerships, the AP reported.
The Senate approved the bill on
Wednesday with a 28-19 vote.
The Democrat-controlled House approved
the measure sponsored by Representative Laurie Jinkins, a Tacoma
Democrat, earlier this month with a lopsided 58-39 vote.
“I'm ecstatic,” Jinkins said. “It
extends what the voters of this state have already said they want to
do for people.”
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,” Jinkins said during the House debate.
“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
The measure now heads to the desk of
Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire, a supporter of the