Legislature OKs out-of-state gay marriagesMarch 30, 2011 @ 1:13 pm (Updated: 4:44 pm - 3/30/11 )
Same sex partners still can't tie the knot in Washington, but now our state will recognize gay couples who marry elsewhere.
On a 28-19 vote Wednesday, the Senate cleared the last hurdle for the bill, which now heads to Governor Chris Gregoire's desk.
"A couple who is validly married in another jurisdiction, when they come to Washington state, they'll be recognized as having a domestic partnership here," said Rep. Laurie Jenkins (D-Tacoma), the bill's primary sponsor.
Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle), a longtime champion of same-sex marriage rights, told KIRO Radio the bill fills a gap in our state's existing domestic partnership law, but it should not necessarily be taken to mean full-fledged gay marriage is imminent.
"We're not there yet," Murray said. "The important thing is that we pass this legislation when the public is with us. We want to be able to survive a ballot initiative that surely will be filed against it."
A pair of bills to legalize gay marriage in Washington were not heard during this session.
"I would say it will be no more than 4 years at the most," Murray said.
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