Seattle lawmakers introduce legislation to give LGBT couples “everything but marriage”
January 28, 2009
WORK: Washington State Senator Ed Murray and State Representative Jamie Pedersen jointly introduced legislation yesterday in Olympia to greatly expand the rights of LGBT people in the state. The sweeping legislation would give LGBT individuals and families "everything but marriage," according to Rep. Pedersen (pictured, below):
The 110-page bill makes changes to all remaining areas of state law where currently only married couples are addressed. The bill would add same-sex domestic partners to state statutes ranging from labor and employment to pensions and other public employee benefits. "Although we view this as an improvement that provides real and concrete protections to same-sex partners, it's an inadequate substitute for marriage," Pedersen said. "Our hope is that the continuing success of this legislation helps people understand what marriage is, and that it gets them more comfortable with treating all families with equality dignity and respect." Pedersen and Murray said that a same-sex marriage measure, also introduced Tuesday, is unlikely to go anywhere this year, but is meant to spark further discussion. "It's entirely possible that next year, enough things might have changed that we feel like it's time to make a run at the marriage bill," Pedersen said. "We're not there now. But it's not out of the question."
That's the kind of talk we like like to hear. Sen. Murray (pictured, below) and Rep. Pedersen have already established themselves as fierce advocates for the LGBT community as the main driving forces behind the state's domestic partnership law:
Last year, both lawmakers led a successful effort to expand the partnership protections to sections of laws where previously only spouses were mentioned, including areas referring to probate and trusts, community property and homestead exemptions, and guardianship and powers of attorney. The underlying domestic partnership law, spearheaded by Murray two years ago, provides hospital visitation rights, the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations and inheritance rights when there is no will. As of Tuesday, 4,940 domestic partnership registrations had been filed since the law took effect in July 2007. "The institution of marriage has not collapsed as a result of passing domestic partnerships," Murray said.
Conservatives groups like the Positive Christian Agenda have already indicated they'll oppose the bill. Big. surprise. there. Can they be any more predictable?
May 24, 2013