Ellen Andersen

Washington State extends domestic partner benefits

Filed By Ellen Andersen | April 22, 2007 7:39 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: domestic partnership, Washington

From the Columbian.

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed a landmark domestic partners bill yesterday. Under the bill, same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples where at least one of the partners is over 62 will receive a limited number of benefits designed to protect their intimate relationships. As I understand it, registered domestic partners will be entitled to visit their partners in the hospital as well as the ability to approve medical procedures, make funeral arrangements, authorize organ donations, and give consent for autopsies. Registered domestic partners will also be able to inherit--and to administer an estate--in the absence of a will.

While it's still a long shot from full equality, this measure will give same-sex couples, and aging opposite-sex couples an important measure of security in their relationships. Why on earth is it so difficult for Indiana legislators to take these simple steps toward protecting all families?

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And what does it say when we're jealous of a "domestic partner bill?" Yeah, it's not marriage - it's not even civil unions. But, damn, it's better than what we have - that's for sure!

Lynn David | April 23, 2007 4:19 AM

The opposite-sex couple has to have one member over 62 (Social Security/Medicare age) or the same-sex couple must also be over 62??

Ellen Andersen | April 23, 2007 9:20 AM

Sorry if I was unclear. The DP benefits bill applies to all adult same-sex couples, but only to heterosexual couples where at least one of the partners is at least 62.