The Washington State Legislature recently passed legislation, signed by the governor, to expand the rights of those in registered domestic partnerships recognized by the state. Those in opposition to this concept gathered a sufficient number of signatures to put this issue on the ballot.
This law should be approved! Voters should be reminded that, despite how the opposition may intend to mislead, this is not a gay marriage issue. The ballot statement clearly states, “a domestic partnership is not a marriage.” The Washington Legislature enacted the “Defense of Marriage Act” in 1998 and it was upheld by the Washington Supreme Court in 2006. This law will remain unchanged by this legislation. While some may feel that domestic partners should be provided marriage benefits, voting to approve this referendum at least extends a blanket of protection to the families of those in domestic partnerships for the time being.
Families with children need the protections provided by domestic partnership laws, such as health insurance under their parents’ work policies. By voting to approve Referendum 71, you will vote to ensure that all children are provided the same protections under the law. In addition, seniors need the protections provided by domestic partnership laws. For seniors, domestic partnerships mean that their hard-earned social security, military or pension benefits are not put at risk.
I urge those of us in the Snoqualmie Valley who care about protecting all families in Washington to vote to approve Referendum 71!