Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Domestic partnership law takes effect today following approval of Referendum 71

Readers, here's something to be cheery about as the holiday season gets into full swing: One of the greatest civil rights victories in Washington's history - the expansion of our domestic partnerships law - is, as of today, finally on our books following the certification of the 2009 general election.

The Secretary of State's office, which operates the domestic partners registry, says it is prepared for the "everything but marriage" law enacted by the Legislature and approved by the people as Referendum 71 to go into effect.

"Our office is ready for the new changes and is hard at work to ensure the registration process continues to go smoothly," Corporations Director Pam Floyd said in a news release.  "Couples needing assistance completing the forms should not hesitate to contact our office," she added.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's office has also posted a Q&A for domestic partners and their families which covers insurance-related topics.

Since November 4th, there have been around ninety registrations a week, as compared to a past average of thirty seven or so per week, the office announced. Although it continues to handle registrations, terminations will henceforth be taken care of by Washington's courts "in similar fashion to a divorce proceeding".

There are now more than thirteen thousand domestic partners registered across Washington. The SoS is urging couples who have questions about the new law to contact a trusted legal advisor for assistance; only basic information about the expanded partnerships law is available online.


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