Wash. Legislature expands gay partnerships - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. Legislature expands gay partnerships

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Legislature has passed an "everything but marriage" bill that grants same-sex couples all the rights and benefits the state offers married couples.

After nearly two hours of debate, the House passed the measure on a 62-35 vote Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is expected to sign it into law.

The bill expands on previous domestic partnership laws by adding partnerships to all remaining areas of state law where currently only married couples are mentioned. The statutes range from labor and employment rights, to pensions and other public employee benefits.

As of Wednesday, more than 5,000 domestic partnership registrations had been filed since July 2007.

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