On June 30, the state of Washington will automatically convert the remaining same-sex domestic partnerships to marriages, the Seattle Times reports:
It's the final piece of the state's same-sex marriage law -- a provision about which many couples are apparently unaware and one sure to trigger some uncomfortable conversations.
Although domestic partnerships are essentially marriage by a different name, "people don't think of them as the same thing ..." said Jason Holloway, president of QLaw Association, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bar association.
Those being plunged into matrimony will no doubt include couples who simply hadn't given it much thought. Or there will be those who broke up in the years since they registered as domestic partners, some of them now married -- illegally -- to other people.
Some may be former Washington residents now living in other states -- some in states where their partnerships aren't recognized and where dissolution isn't possible.
The only same-sex couples who won't be required to upgrade their domestic partnerships to marriages are couples where at least one partner is over 62, because married status could negatively affect their Social Security benefits. (Click here for more information from Laurel Ramseyer at Pam's House Blend.)
The Secretary of State plans to notify all 6,500 couples remaining in the state's domestic partnership registry of the change by mid-March.
RELATED: Last Thursday, a bill banning the cruel, abusive, and discredited practice of so-called "ex-gay therapy" from being offered to minors overwhelmingly passed the Washington state House. The vote was 94-4. The bill now heads to the state Senate.