Washington State on Track To Expand Domestic Partnership Rights

seattleLawmakers in Seattle seem likely to expand the rights and benefits of domestic partnerships to include the same rights and benefits as marriage based on a head count of support. It’s a definite step forward for LGBT equality, but we wonder how much of the support comes out of fear that of a court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, which is currently outlawed in the state. We don’t want to look a gift legislation in the mouth (most. tortured. metaphor. ever.), but the recent flurry of marriage-lite legislation appearing in State Houses across the nation seem designed to quell homegrown furor over marriage equality. What do you think? Are expanded domestic partnership rights genuine progress or bribe to gays to keep them from protesting?

The A.P. reports:

“The 110-page bill makes changes to all remaining areas of state law where currently only married couples are addressed. The bill would add same-sex domestic partners to state statutes ranging from labor and employment to pensions and other public employee benefits.

“I would say the most remarkable thing about this bill is that it is unremarkable,” said Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle. “Instead of the cultural wars that we have seen year after year, we see a Legislature that is mostly on board in moving forward on protecting all of Washington’s families.”

Murray, who sponsored the state’s domestic partnership law in 2007, is sponsoring the expansion bill in the Senate this year; Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, is sponsoring the measure in the House. They are two of six openly gay lawmakers in the Legislature.”