Expanded gay rights leading in early returns - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Expanded gay rights leading in early returns

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Voters are narrowly approving Washington state's new "everything but marriage" law.

With about 40 percent of the expected vote counted Tuesday night, Referendum 71 was leading 52 percent to 47 percent Tuesday night.

R-71 asks voters to approve or reject the final expansion to the state's domestic partnership law, which grants registered domestic partners additional state-granted rights currently given only to married couples.

The expanded law would add benefits, such as the right to use sick leave to care for a domestic partner, and rights related to adoption, child custody and child support.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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