Washington governor signs domestic partnership bill
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds Gov. Chris Gregoire’s action and advocacy efforts of state partner Equal Rights Washington
WASHINGTON, April 23 — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law a domestic partnership bill on April 21 that provides same-sex couples in Washington state access to critical protections and responsibilities. When the law takes effect July 21, Washington will join California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont and the District of Columbia in granting same-sex couples some of the state-level rights and responsibilities of marriage. The measure passed the House by a 63–35 vote on April 10, after clearing the Senate on March 1 by a 28–19 vote.
The Task Force applauds the governor’s action, the tireless work of its capacity building partner Equal Rights Washington (ERW) and Washington’s gay state lawmakers — Sen. Ed Murray and Reps. Joseph McDermott, David Upthegrove, James Moeller and Jamie Pedersen — as well as the many straight legislative allies in securing this victory.
Over the past two years, the Task Force has provided technical assistance, training and funding in an effort to assist ERW in strengthening its capacity and impact throughout Washington state. The Task Force looks forward to supporting ERW as it continues to advocate for full marriage equality.
Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“We applaud the governor for acting swiftly to sign this bill. Each day that Washington families are left without these basic protections is a day that potentially and unnecessarily places those families in difficult and perilous circumstances. This is the price of second-class citizenship.
“This victory marks a step toward full equality, and we commend Equal Rights Washington and the supportive state lawmakers for their extraordinary efforts. We also look forward to the day when our lawmakers will stand for our freedom to marry — equality, no more, no less.”
Statement by Barbara Green, Interim Executive Director
Equal Rights Washington
“Never before has a governor of Washington signed a measure that acknowledges the legitimacy of our LGBT families as families. With a powerful and moving statement, Governor Gregoire did not merely sign the domestic partnership bill on Saturday, she embraced it. In addition, the governor recognized that this bill is but a step on the road to equality.”
The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.
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