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Senate approves proposal for acknowledging same-sex marriages from other states

Post by Katie Schmidt on March 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm with 8 Comments »
March 30, 2011 2:46 pm

After making it out of both houses of the Legislature Wednesday, a bill to a give same-sex couples from other states more legal recognition in Washington has cleared most of the hurdles it needs to get through to become state law.

In a 28-19 vote, the Washington Senate sent House Bill 1649, which would recognize same-sex marriages from other states as domestic partnerships in Washington, on to the governor for approval, and if she signs it, gay rights advocates said would remove a dangerous loophole in legal protections for same-sex couples.

“What this bill did was really address a grave injustice,” said Joshua Friedes, executive director of the gay-rights group Equal Rights Washington. “This is just a wonderful development for Washington.”

He said the reason his group had been supporting this bill was that, although gay and lesbian couples are allowed to register for a domestic partnership in Washington and Washington recognizes domestic partnerships from other states, it does not recognize same-sex marriages.

That can become a problem, said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Laurie Jinkins, because people married in another state who travel to Washington could be prevented from seeing their spouses in the hospital, for instance, if they had a medical emergency.

Jinkins, a Tacoma Democrat and the first openly lesbian representative to serve in the state Legislature, said this bill would make sure Washington voters got what they had asked for when they approved Referendum 71, a 2009 ballot measure to give domestic partners the same rights and responsibilities as married couples.

“It’s a very straightforward bill; some would even say it’s technical,” said Jinkins. “We’re just recognizing what voters in this state have said they wanted to do.”

The proposal has faces some opposition in the Legislature, however.

Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, voted against the bill in committee and again on the Senate floor, saying Washington gives enough protection to gay and lesbian couples already and it could be dangerous to allow laws passed in other states to take effect in Washington.

“There’s really no need to do this reciprocity because our laws actually are really quite frankly much more liberal than many of the other states involved,” Benton said. “I think it leaves us open in the future in terms of being subjected to whatever any other legislature might pass.”

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Kilmer voted for this bill. He supports the gay agenda, anti-family and want to legalize gay marriage. I thought this guy was a family man.

    I hope voters in the 26 will remember this anti-family vote by Kilmer.

  2. I for one is adding up the way Kilmer votes.To me it seems he is far too liberal. I think if there was a bill introduced for outlawing men and women joining together in marriage he might vote for that bill also.Why dosen,t the legislature pass a bill that Washington State will be supportive of any bill that has been approved by all other States Legislatures?That will show just how Liberal our Reps.can be.

  3. hortonpeak says:

    Taxedenough is a troll. Ignore him, her, it. Cheers.

  4. Taxedenough appears to have some private grudge against Derek Kilmer, who has proved to be a responsible, honest and listening legislator. Kilmer has represented the Peninsula with integrity and intelligence. Compare his record and his accessibility to his constiuents with several other legislators and he is a Knight in Shining Armor.

  5. truthbusterguy says:

    I am upset with Kilmer too. He voted to kill the only bill, SB 4507, that had a chance this year to rein in the illeagals that easily get drivers lic. in WA state.

    Why does he vote to kill a bill he says he supports. Just like JOhn Kerry was for the bill before he was against it.

    Yes I thought he was a good guy but he is voting otherwise.

    Plus, cut taxed some slack. Once in a while he hits a homer. You might not like what he says but are insults all you can come up with.?

  6. truthbusterguy says:

    Now we read today that Kilmer voted to kill poll voting in Pierce county. He is against voting where people have to show their ID to vote. He has the illeagal vote and doesn’t want to lose it. This vote is proof.

  7. SuperSteve says:

    Ya gotta wonder why a troll using the handle “taxedenoughintacoma” is always complaining about Derek Kilmer – an elected official who doesn’t have any constituents in Tacoma?

  8. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    If you have to know I work in Tacoma and live in Purdy. And yes I complain about Kilmer. It’s allowed in America the last time I checked.

    Kilmer is an empty suit that has a great marketing manger. You have bought his story hook, line and sinker. You are the fish here.

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