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Washington State House bill to recognize out-of-state marriages

Timothy Kincaid

February 18th, 2011

OOOOPS: I think I misread the bill. It would recognize out of state marriages as domestic partnerships within the state. So the rest of this commentary is not useful.

The House of Representative in State of Washington is posed to perform an odd act: recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages but not those conducted within the state. While the state offers domestic partnership which is identical to marriage in rights and obligations – a law confirmed by a vote of the people – it does not yet offer full marriage recognition.

Kitsap Sun:

The state House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved legislation under which Washington sate would legally recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere.

Seven Democrats on the committee voted for the bill and six Republicans voted against it. The bill now moves to the House floor. It has 55 co-sponsors, enough for a majority in a floor vote.

A bill which would have allowed recognition of in-state same-sex marriages did not make it out of committee on Thursday, the final day to do so. It is not certain why the out-of-state bill is assured passage while the local marriage one is not, but it may have to do with the difficulty that anti-gay activists will have in whipping up opposition to recognizing the laws of other states and countries.

Should the bill pass, it would appear that Washingtonians will be able to cross the border into Canada, marry there, and return with the full recognition of the state. This will add to the hodge-podge of laws ranging from full recognition of other states’ marriages but no local recognition at all (New York and New Mexico) to a date-based window of recognition of both instate and out-of-state marriages (California) to the various states which convert out-of-state marriages into civil unions upon entry (Hawaii and others) to outright bans on all recognition (most states).



February 19th, 2011 | LINK


If I read the bill correctly, it would recognize outofstate same-sex marriages and civil unions as domestic partnerships. See and for the full text.

Timothy Kincaid
February 21st, 2011 | LINK

Thanks, Jutta. Sigh.

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