Governor Chris Gregoire has signed into a law a bill to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages with all the rights and protections given to registered domestic partnerships in Washington.
In 2009, Washington voters confirmed they wanted to extend “everything but marriage” to same-sex couples by approving Referendum 71.
But current law is worded to only recognize civil unions and domestic partnerships from other states, excluding same-sex marriages from states where they are legal.
The bill was originally sponsored by Democratic Representative Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma. Jinkins said she wanted to avoid situations where someone falls ill and their partner is not legally allowed to see them in the hospital or provide medical information. (AP)