Conservatives Balk At "Incremental" Marriage Rights

Gay Divorce Battle Begins In Wash. State

The gay marriage battle has dominated the queer landscape over the past few years. Now, as more and more states offer restricted rights, Washington state lawmakers and activists are branching into new territory.

Less than a year after winning the right to establish domestic-partnership contracts through the state, the gay and lesbian community is seeking the rights that go with divorce.

“We are not only asking for the benefits, we are also asking for gay divorce,” said Sen. Ed Murray, D- Seattle, sponsor of a new gay rights bill.

Supporters of the legislation unveiled Tuesday say it seeks to provide financial security for same-sex couples by establishing community property rights, probate protections and joint responsibility for debts.

Social conservatives aren’t biting, of course, and dismiss the proposed legislation as nothing more than “an incremental step toward gay marriage,” said House minority leader Richard DeBolt.