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Posts tagged: domestic partnerships

Gregoire: Time to legalize same-sex marriage

OLYMPIA — Washington must end discrimination against same-sex couples, an emotional Gov. Chris Gregoire said this morning. She urged the Legislature to pass a bill that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state without requiring churches to perform the service if they object.

Gregoire received extended applause from some 70 people crowded into the governor's conference room as she called same-sex marriage rights a defining civil rights issue of the current generation. Younger citizens are ahead of her generation, she said, and the public is ahead of the Legislature on it, she insisted.

Legislators who attended the press conference said they believed they have the votes to pass a bill Gregoire will endorse in the House, but are “a few votes” short of a majority in the Senate.

But it is time for legislators to step up and take a tough vote on same-sex marriage, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, said. He predicted he would get Republican votes for that measure, something he doubted he would get for a tax increase.

“Suddenly, gay marriage becomes easier than passing taxes,” Murray said.

WA Lege Day 93: Domestic partner surrogacy bill passes Senate

Sen. Lisa Brown discusses an amendment with Sen. Mark Schoesler during debate on the domestic partnership surrogacy bill.

OLYMPIA – A proposal to make clear who has legal custody for a children in a domestic partnership cleared a sharply divided Senate Tuesday, but a provision to allow parents to pay a surrogate mother did not.
Supporters said state law needs to recognize a greater variety of family structures exist now than a generation ago.
“Ozzie and Harriet don’t live here any more,” Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, said. “That’s a make-believe world.”
Opponents said domestic partners could go to court and use existing laws to adopt children if they aren’t the biological parent. “If there is a relationship involved, let those persons solve it in a legal way,” Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, said.

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WA Lege Day 80: Domestic partnership ‘reciprocity’ passes

OLYMPIA — The Senate agreed Washington should recognize domestic partnerships from other states, giving
28-19 approval to a bill that now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire.

On a largely party line vote, the Senate approved HB 1649, which allows domestic partnerships and other contracctual unions of same-sex couples from other states to be recognized in Washington. Same-sex marriages, which aren't recognized in Washington, would be treated the same as domestic partnerships under the bill.

Opponents argued that it was an expansion of state law into the recognition of same-sex marriage, but supporters said it was really about equality for couples who had a partnership in another state and move to Washington.

Among Spokane-area legislators, voting yes was Lisa Brown, D; voting no were Mike Baumgartner, Jeff Baxter, Bob Morton and Mark Schoesler, all R.

Surrogacy bill: Needed changes or exploitation?

OLYMPIA – Because Washington state outlaws paying a surrogate mother to have a baby, some couples with fertility problems go to Oregon or California where they can hire women to carry a child.

Because state law also presumes that the birth mother has parental rights, some gay and lesbian couples have to go through legal adoption, even if one of them is a biological parent.

A bill in the Legislature would change both of those laws, and allow the state to recognize that not all families look like “Leave it to Beaver,” said the proposal’s sponsor, Rep. Jamie Pederson, D-Seattle. Laws against paying a surrogate mother have never been enforced, he added.

But HB 1267 would also turn surrogate mothers, and the babies they have, into commodities, opponents told the Senate Government Operations Committee Tuesday. The state doesn’t allow people to sell kidneys or other organs, and shouldn’t allow surrogate mothers to receive money for having a child…

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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