A few moments ago the Senate of the Washington State Legislature voted by a margin of 29 to 20 to expand the rights provided under Domestic Partnership legislation by passing 2SHB 3104. The bill had already passed the House on February 15, 2008 by a margin of 62-32.
It expands the rights and responsibilities for domestic partnerships, including provisions that address notice, public officials, public assistance, judicial process, veterans, community property, taxes, guardianship, probate and trusts, dissolution, and reciprocity.
Republican Senator Swecker stood to oppose the bill claiming that "This bill provides most of the rights of marriage" and that "It would take little to achieve gay marriage other than a name change."
Senator Murray stood in support and, as always, spoke eloquently on the importance of these rights where the political becomes personal.
Congratulations to our legislators, advocates and citizens who made their voices heard!