Fortunately, equal marriage advocates have some good news today, despite the upset witnessed yesterday in New York. Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has certified the results of last month’s elections, including the approval of Referendum 71 to maintain domestic partner benefits. As of 12:01 this morning, same-sex couples in the state are eligible to be registered as domestic partners, granting all the rights and responsibilities of heterosexual marriage without the name.
The Washington secretary of state blogged about the certification of the results:
Referendum 71, placed on the ballot by foes of same-sex marriage, was approved by a margin of more than 110,000 votes, or more than 6 percentage points. National media describe it as the country’s first voter-approved domestic partnership or “everything-but-marriage” law.
The new law had been on hold pending the public vote, and will now go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, 30 days after the Nov. 3 General Election. The law is Senate Bill 5688 and applies to state-registered domestic partners, both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples where at least one partner is 62 or older.