This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
An everything-but-marriage bill would scour state law for the smaller benefits and responsibilities denied same-sex couples.
In the law, there are sweeping, fundamental rights that shape people’s lives, and then there are the small privileges that simply make life more bearable.
Washington’s incremental march toward fair treatment for same-sex couples has scored big gains in the latter category over the last two years. They’ve won legal recognition of domestic partnerships, the right to be at their partners’ sick beds, protection under domestic violence laws and acknowledgment of community property, among others.
Now gay-rights supporters are back with an everything-but-marriage bill that would extend to registered domestic partners every benefit and responsibility now offered to heterosexual married spouses.