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Monday, May 18, 2009

Washington State Expands DP's

Get your mind out of the gutter, man - it's the other kind of DP. From 365gay.com:

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Monday signed legislation granting domestic partners almost all of the state rights of married spouses.

“They will make for stronger families, and when we have stronger families, we have a stronger Washington state,” Gregoire said as she put her pen to the document.

The legislation makes domestic partnerships equal to marriage in areas of community property, guardianship and powers of attorney. It allows partners the right to refuse to testify against partners in court. And it provides the same remedies as married couples to end a relationship, including the division of property.

The legislation expands on previous domestic partnership laws by adding reference to partnerships alongside all remaining areas of state law where currently only married couples are mentioned.

The domestic partner law was enacted after the state Supreme Court in 2006 upheld Washington’s so-called Defense of Marriage Act that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples. . . .

Since July 2007 when the original domestic partner law went into effect, more than 5,000 couples have registered as domestic partners. . . .

But opponents of the law already have started a bid to overturn the measure. The Washington Values Alliance filed paperwork earlier this month to begin the referendum process. They need to get more than 120,500 voter signatures by July 25 to qualify for the November ballot.

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