Laws

United States of America

WASHINGTON

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Bullying
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
  Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Estates, Inheritance
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
  Parenting
Partners
Property
Sodomy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is lawful at age sixteen (16) years provided the other partner is not more than four (4) years older.

A person who communicates with a minor (any person under eighteen (18) years) for immoral purposes is guilty of a misdemeanor


Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9A.44.079 Rape of a child in the third degree [L1.3]

(1) A person is guilty of rape of a child in the third degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim.

(2) Rape of a child in the third degree is a class C felony.

Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9A.44.089 Child molestation in the third degree [L1.2]

(1) A person is guilty of child molestation in the third degree when the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim.

(2) Child molestation in the third degree is a class C felony.

Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.68A.090 Communication with minor for immoral purposes – Penalties [L1.1]

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person who communicates with a minor for immoral purposes, or a person who communicates with someone the person believes to be a minor for immoral purposes, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.68A.011 Definitions

(5) "Minor" means any person under eighteen years of age.

L1.3 Washington State Legislature: RCW 9A.44.079 Rape of a child in the third degree (Accessed 09 NOV 12)
L1.2 Washington State Legislature: RCW 9A.44.089 Child molestation in the third degree (Accessed 09 NOV 12)
L1.1 Washington State Legislature: RCW 9.68A.090 Communication with minor for immoral purposes – Penalties (Accessed 09 NOV 12)
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In May 2004, the Washington State Court of Appeals ruled that the same-sex partner of the biological mother of a child may seek to prove that she had a parental relationship with the non-biological child and thus parental rights [R1.2].

In June 2000, the Supreme Court in a 6–3 decision, said Washington state trampled on parents' "fundamental right'' to raise their families free from government interference by enacting a law aimed at helping grandparents and others win visitation rights [R1.1].

R1.2 The Advocate: Lesbian Allowed to Seek Parental Rights 05 MAY 04
R1.1 Associated Press: Court Mulls Washington State Parent Laws 06 JUN 00
 

See also: The Legal Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Parenting & Divorce in Washington State McKinley Irvin, Seattle (Accessed 25 JUL 13)
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 30 June 2014, some state registered domestic partnerships will automatically be converted into marriages. If couples want to opt-out of marriage, they must legally end their partnership by applying to the court. If one person in a domestic partnership is over the age of 62, the partnership will not be converted into a marriage [R1.11].

On 17 February 2014, it was reported that same-sex domestic partners who have not married or legally dissolved their domestic partnership by the end of June will have their relationships automatically converted to marriage. The conversion won't affect domestic partners who are seniors (62 years of age or older), same-sex or opposite-sex, as domestic partnerships will remain an option only for them. Another state rule, set to take effect next month, “will allow marriage certificates to reflect two dates: the date of the marriage, as well as the legal date of the union, which is the date the couple registered their domestic partnership” [R1.10].

On 06 November 2012, with the passing of Referendum 74, same-sex domestic partners have two years to either dissolve their relationship or get married. Most same-sex domestic partnerships that aren't ended prior to 30 June 2014, would automatically become marriages (Section 10 (3)(a)). Domestic partnerships would remain for senior couples, both heterosexual and gay, where at least one partner is 62 years old or older (Section 8). That provision was included in the state's first domestic partnership law of 2007 to help heterosexual seniors who don't remarry out of fear they could lose certain pension or Social Security benefits [L1.9], [R1.8].

On 05 April 2011, Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law bill HB1649 that recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages with all the rights and protections given to registered domestic partnerships in Washington [R1.7].

In April 2010, Initiative 1077 would, if passed, institute a tax on registered domestic partners making more than $400,000 per year, or individuals earning $200,000 annually [R1.6].

On 03 December 2009, gay and lesbian couples were able to register for expanded domestic-partnership benefits, since voters approved of the measure on 03 November [R1.5].

On 03 November 2009, Washingtonians seemed to have narrowly approved Referendum 71 with 51% voting yes and allowing the latest "everything but marriage" domestic-partnership bill to stand [R1.4]. With about 72 percent of the expected vote counted Thursday in unofficial returns, R-71 was leading 52 percent to 48 percent, the AP reported [R1.3].

On 18 May 2009, Governor Chris Gregoire signed a bill that adds more than 400 additional rights and benefits to those previously granted under the state's domestic-partnership law [R1.2].

In 2007, the law on registered partners was amended, offering same-sex partners most or all rights of marriage [R1.1].

See also: 3. Courts & Tribunals

2.

Cities & Towns

On 30 September 2000, the Seattle Equal Benefits Ordinance took effect requiring companies that have consulting, public works, or purchasing contracts with the City of Seattle worth over $33,000 to extend the same benefits offered to married employees to employees with domestic partners [R2.2].

In December 1999, the City of Seattle, which had a policy of nondiscrimination in employee benefits since 1990, offered domestic partnership registration to any couples who wish to register, not just City residents. Couples can register by filing a notarized form with the Seattle City Clerk's office [R2.2].


In December 2001, the Burien City Council voted to extend insurance benefits to the domestic partners of employees from 1 January 2002 [R2.1].

Employees can apply for the coverage by filing an affidavit attesting to the domestic partnership. Employees will have to submit proof of the paid insurance expenses to be reimbursed.

A number of private employers, plus King County, the state of Washington and the city of Olympia now offer similar benefits.


Six other municipalities provide domestic partner benefits.

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 08 September 2009, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee refused to block the November 3rd statewide referendum on whether gay couples should be given expanded rights under domestic partnerships [R3.2].

In May 2000, in a 6–1 decision the Public Employees Benefits Board ruled that beginning in January 2001, gay and lesbian state employees will be allowed to add their partners to their health-insurance plans [R3.1]

R1.11 KVUE: utomatic same-sex marriages kick in this month in Washington 19 JUN 14
R1.10 The Advocate: Washington to Convert Domestic Partnerships to Marriage 17 FEB 14
L1.9 Washington State Legislature: SB6239 - 2011-12 Concerning Civil Marriage and Domestic Partnerships (Accessed 10 NOV 12)
R1.8 SeattlePI: Washington gay marriage law to take effect next month 09 NOV 12
R1.7 The Seattle Times: Washington domestic partnership law gets adjusted 05 APR 11
R1.6 The Advocate: Initiative Seeks to Tax Gay Couples Equally 25 APR 10
R1.5 The Advocate: Happy Partnership Day, Washington 03 DEC 09
R1.4 The Advocate: DP Rights Look Good in Washington 03 NOV 09
R1.3 The Advocate: Referendum 71 Approved in Washington 06 NOV 09
R1.2 The Advocate: "Everything But Marriage" Law in Washington 19 MAY 09
R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R2.2 Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities: Commission Applauds Ordinance Requiring City Contractors to Provide Equal Benefits for Domestic Partners 21 DEC 99
R2.1 Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Burien latest city to add benefits for domestic partners 27 DEC 01
R3.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Washington judge rejects attempt to block referendum on gay partnership law 09 SEP 09
R3.1 The Seattle Times Company: Benefits OK'd for Same-sex Partners 24 MAY 00
 

See also: The Legal Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Parenting & Divorce in Washington State McKinley Irvin, Seattle (Accessed 25 JUL 13)
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE: BULLYING]
1.

State

On 22 April 2013, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 5077 into law to make language in the state's copious laws gender-neutral [R1.4].

In January 2006, the Washington state Senate passed a statewide bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity [R1.3].

Previously:

In March 2003, House Bill 1809 was passed 59–39 but faced opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate. The bill would ban discrimination in housing, employment and financial transactions. Similar legislation has passed the House twice before but has never passed the Senate [R1.2].

In August 2001, Washington state adopted a policy of not discriminating in employment (of state employees) on the basis of sexual orientation [R1.1].

2.

County

In December 2001, Snohomish County Council voted to bar job discrimination against county workers on the basis of their sexual orientation [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

Seattle has been a leader in adopting aggressive policies to discourage discrimination against gays and lesbians. Seattle's Fair Employment Practices Ordinance, approved by the City Council February 2000, makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation [R3.5].

In November 1999, the city became the second in the nation to require its major private contractors to provide gay and lesbian couples the same benefits as married couples. The city also expanded its anti-discrimination laws last year to apply to most of the city's small businesses, which had previously been exempted [R3.4].

In February 1999, The Seattle City Council has quietly approved an amendment to the Fair Employment Practices Ordinance that allows gays and lesbians to sue employers of four or more workers for discrimination based on sexual orientation [R3.3].


In November 2002, Tacoma voters decided not to overturn the city's antidiscrimination law that protects gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities [R3.2].

In April 2002, Tacoma city council approved an amendment to the city's antidiscrimination law, adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity". The law already covers race, ethnicity, age, gender, and other characteristics [R3.3] and prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and education, exempting certain religious, nonprofit organizations, including churches [R3.1].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 14 July 2017, Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the US Supreme Court asserting the state Supreme Court 16 February ruling finding her refusal to provide services for the same-sex wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed broke the state's anti-discrimination law, violates her freedom of speech and religion [C4.15], [R4.14].

On 16 February 2017, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Barronelle Stutzman and Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, who refused to provide services for the same-sex wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed broke the state's anti-discrimination law, even though she claimed doing so would violate her religious beliefs [C4.13], [R4.12].

On 15 November 2016, the State Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Ingersoll v. Arlene's Flowers case at 9 a.m. at Bellevue College's Carlson Theatre [R4.11].

On 27 March 2015, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander Ekstrom fined Arlene's Flowers, Arlene's Flowers and Gifts and Barronelle Stutzman $1000 and $1.00 costs as a civil penalty, payable to the State of Washington within 60 days, for the florist's refusal to provide flowers for the same-sex wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed [C4.10], [R4.9].

On 18 February 2015, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander C Ekstrom ruled that Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's Flowers violated state consumer protection and anti-discrimination law by refusing to provide flowers to gay couple Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed for their wedding [C4.8], [R4.7].

On 07 January 2015, Judge Alexander C Ekstrom in the Superior Court held that Arlene's Flowers Inc., flower shop owner Barronelle Stutzman being sued over her refusal to provide services for a same-sex wedding can be held personally liable in the case under the Consumer Protection Act and the state anti-discrimination law. The Judge also upheld the Attorney General's authority to bring its suit under the Consumer Protection Act [C4.6], [R4.5].

On 13 September 2012, the State Supreme Court ruled in Debra Loeffelholz v. University of Washington & Ors that the 2006 expansion of the state's anti-discrimination law to include gays and lesbians is not retroactive however incidents can be used in an overall hostile workplace case if the actions continued after June 2006 [C4.4], [R4.3].

On 18 July 2002, the Division III Court of Appeals in Spokane unanimously ruled that firing a public employee on the basis of sexual orientation violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection [R4.2]


In February 1997, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in the case of lesbian journalist Sandy Nelson, that a newspaper may prohibit political activism by its reporters in order to protect the publication's political neutrality and credibility [R4.1].

1. State
R1.4 SeattlePI: Governor Inslee signs gender-neutral language bill 22 APR 13
R1.3 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: Washington State Passes Bill Prohibiting Discrimination 27 JAN 06
R1.2 Seattle Times: Gay civil rights bill passes House; faces tough fight in Senate 18 MAR 03
R1.1 Bloomington Herald-Times: State Adds Gays to Policy on Job Discrimination 07 AUG 01
2. County
R2.1 The Herald: Gay Rights Rule Divides Council 20 DEC 01
3. Cities & Towns
R3.5 Seattle Times: "Seattle's Anti-discrimination Law Challenged'' 29 SEP 00
R3.4 Seattle Times: Benefits for Gay Couples Approved by City Council 23 NOV 99
R3.3 Seattle Times: New Seattle Ordinance Lets Gays Sue for Job Bias 19 FEB 99
R3.2 Seattle Times: Tacoma won't repeal gay ordinance07 NOV 02
R3.1 The Advocate: Tacoma Adopts Discrimination Ban 25 APR 02
4. Courts & Tribunals
C4.15 Petition: Arlene's Flowers Inc., et al. v. State of Washington PDF 259.10kb 14 JUL 17
R4.14 WashingtonBlade: Washington florist seeks OK from Supreme Court to refuse service to gays 14 JUL 17
C4.13 Opinion: Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed v. Arlene's Flowers et al. No. 91615-2 PDF 2.03MB 16 FEB 17
R4.12 TheStar: Washington court rules against florist who denied service to gay couple 16 FEB 17
R4.11 KVEW-TV: State Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument in Case of Gay Couple Discriminated Against by Florist 11 NOV 16
C4.10 Judgment Summary: State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers,et al. No. 13-2-00871-5 PDF 432.64kb, 27 MAR 15
R4.9 LGBTQnation: Judge fines Washington florist who refused services for same-sex couple’s wedding 27 MAR 15
C4.8 Memorandum of Decision and Order: Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed et al. v. Arlene's Flowers Inc., et al. Nos. 13-2-00871-5, 13-2-00953-3 PDF 5.14MB, 18 FEB 15
R4.7 abcNEWS: Judge: Washington Florist Who Refused Gay Wedding Broke Law 18 FEB 15
C4.6 Memorandum Opinion and Order: State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers, Inc., and Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, v. Arlene's Flowers, Inc. No. 13-2-00871-5 (Consolidated with 13-2-00953-3) PDF 1.28MB, 07 JAN 15
R4.5 Tri-CityHerald: Judge: Arlene’s Flowers owner can be sued in her personal capacity 08 JAN 15
C4.4 Opinion: Debra Loeffelholz v. University of Washington & Ors No. 86511-6 PDF ?kb, 13 SEP 12
R4.3 The Sacramento Bee: Washington high court: Gay rights law not retroactive 13 SEP 12
R4.2 Seattle Times: Gays Protected in Public Workforce 19 JUL 02
R4.1 Melbourne Star Observer: Journalist Loses Case 28 FEB 97
 

See also: The Legal Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Parenting & Divorce in Washington State McKinley Irvin, Seattle (Accessed 25 JUL 13)

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available
Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 18 May 2009, Governor Chris Gregoire signed a bill that entitles registered partners to unpaid wages and benefits when a partner is injured or dies [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 14 December 2010, an appellate court upheld a trial court's dissolution of a domestic partnership using the Washington legal concept of an "equity relationship" requiring equitable distribution of a couple's property [C2.8], [R2.7].


In November 2002, a Superior Court judge expanded the state's recognition of same-sex families, ordering two women to split the property they had amassed over a 10-year relationship, despite the fact that the couple's house was in one woman's name only, and the women did not have written contracts or documents attesting to their partnership [R2.6].

The judge noted that the couple, physician Julia Robertson and nurse Linda Gormley, shared their lives in every respect and operated under an unwritten, but nonetheless enforceable, joint agreement [R2.6] and the couple's relationship an "intimate domestic partnership," "sufficiently marriagelike to provide equitable relief." [R2.5].

The case is the subject of an appeal to the State Court of Appeals [R2.4].


In July 2002, a settlement was reached in a Pierce County case that questioned whether the survivor in a same-sex relationship could inherit his partner's estate after the partner died without a will [R2.3].


In November 2001, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that gay men and lesbians may be entitled to the estates of partners who die without wills [R2.2].

Previously:

In 2000, the Washington State Court of Appeals Division II ruled that a man who shared the house, business and financial assets with his gay lover for 28 years cuold not inherit his partner's estate, reversing a judge's decision [R2.1].

R1.1 The Advocate: "Everything But Marriage" Law in Washington 19 MAY 09
C2.8 In re the Meretricious Relationship of Long and Fregeau, 2010 WL 5071860 (Wash. App. Div. 3, Dec. 14, 2010)
R2.7 Lesbian/Gay Legal News: Washington State Appellate Court Applies Community Property Law to Same-Sex Couple's Breakup PDF 133.56kb, JAN 11
R2.6 Planet Out: Ruling Treats Lesbian Couple As If Married 04 NOV 02
R2.5 Seattle Times: Court treats same-sex breakup as divorce 03 NOV 02
R2.4 Associated Press: Court asked to reverse gay-divorce ruling 16 OCT 03
R2.3 Tacoma News Tribune: Same-sex Relationship's Survivor to Stay in House 10 JUL 02
R2.2 Associated Press: New Trial Ordered in Gay Estate Case 01 NOV 01
R2.1 Associated Press: Court Reverses Gay Partner's Award 17 FEB 00
 

See also: The Legal Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Parenting & Divorce in Washington State McKinley Irvin, Seattle (Accessed 25 JUL 13)
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

State

On 10 February 2016, the Senate narrowly rejected 24-25 Bill SB 6443 that would have repealed the rule imposed by the Washington Human Rights Commission allowing transgender persons to use public bathrooms or locker rooms of their choice R1.4

On 15 January 2016, House Bill 2589 was introduced that if passed would circumvent the Washington Human Rights Commission rule permitting transgender persons to use public bathrooms or locker rooms of their choice [R1.3].

In December 2015, the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) released final rules that include a provision that transgender individuals cannot be required to use a gender segregated facility that is inconsistent with their gender identity [D1.2].

In January 2006, the Washington state Senate passed a statewide bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 10 March 2016, Mayor Edward B Murray signed Executive Order 2016-02 ''directing various city departments to develop and disseminate procedures, trainings and other resources ... to ensure that the City of Seattle remains a place where transgender and gender-diverse residents and City employees are safe and treated with dignity and respect'' [L2.2], [R2.1].

R1.4 TheDailySignal: Rule Requiring Transgender Bathrooms Survives by One Vote 12 FEB 16
R1.3 LegiScan: House Bill 2589 (Accessed 21 FEB 16)
D1.2 WAHumanRightsCommission: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding WAC 162-32-060 Gender-segregated Facilities PDF 89.78kb 28 JAN 16
R1.1 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: Washington State Passes Bill Prohibiting Discrimination 27 JAN 06
L2.2 Executive Order: Executive Order 2016-02 PDF 733.56kn 10 MAR 16
R2.1 LGBTQnation: Seattle mayor signs order to protect transgender rights 11 MAR 16
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE]
1.

State

In 1993 the law in Washington was amended and hate crimes based on sexual orientation are now considered an aggravating circumstance [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 21 April 2015, in a procedural move, the Senate declined 22-27 a move to bring to the floor Bill SB 5870 that would have banned subjecting LGBT youth to aversion therapy [R1.4].

On 09 April 2015, the House of Representatives amended and passed 60-37 bill SB5870 to prohibit therapy intended aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT youth. The amended Bill returns to the Senate [R1.3].

On 03 July 2014, it was reported that same-sex couples who had their domestic partnerships automatically converted to marriages have a special 60-day enrollment window to apply for insurance at wahealthplanfinder.org, and if eligible for a qualified health plan will be helped through the steps to sign up [R1.2].

On 13 February 2014, the House passed 94-4 House Bill 2451, that would would make it an act of unprofessional conduct to try to change the sexual orientation of a patient under 18. That would include efforts to change behaviors, gender expressions or to reduce sexual or romantic attractions toward people of the same sex. The bill now heads to the Senate [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 02 August 2016, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved bill CB 118746 that will make unlawful the provision of widely discredited sexual orientation and gender identity reparative or conversion therapy to a minor. A first offence will carry a fine of $500 and $1,000 for every subsequent offences. The Ordinance comes into effect on 02 October 2016 [L2.2], [R2.1].

1. State
R1.4 Washington GOP lawmakers just not ready to scrap aversion therapy for minors 22 APR 15
R1.3 LGBTQnation: Washington state House approves ban on conversion therapy for LGBT youth 10 APR 15
R1.2 TheSpokesman-Review: Converted domestic partners eligible for different insurance 03 JUL 14
R1.1 SFGN: Bill to Prevent Gay Conversion Passes Washington House 14 FEB 14
2. Cities & Towns
L2.2 Council Bill No. CB 118746: Ordinance 125100 PDF 1.29MB 03 AUG 16
R2.1 CapitolHillSeattleBlog: City Council passes ban on gay conversion therapy in Seattle 02 AUG 16
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT]
1.

State

In 1975, the state's sodomy law was repealed [R1.1].

R1.1 Seattle Times: Aging Poses New Health-care, Legal Challenges for Gay Partners 07 OCT 01
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 05 December 2012, Governor Christine Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the voter referendum results with the equal marriage law coming into effect on 06 December 2012 [R1.20].

On 06 November 2012, of 2,416,356 votes cast, a majority or 1,269,917 (52.56%) approved and 1,146,439 (47.44%) rejected Referendum 74 [R1.19], the ballot measure that upholds the freedom to marry in the state [L1.15], which was passed by the state legislature with bipartisan support and signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire in February. Same-sex couples in Washington will be able to obtain marriage licenses beginning 06 December [R1.18].


On 04 September 2013, the Colville Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Nation voted overwhelmingly to recognize same-sex marriages [R1.17].

On 6 June 2012, Washington state's law allowing gay marriage was blocked from taking effect when Preserve Marriage Washington turned in more than 200,000 signatures just a day before the state was to begin allowing same-sex marriages [R1.16].

On 13 February 2012, Governor Gregoire signed signed legislation making Washington the seventh state to legalize marriage between same-sex couples. The law would have gone into effect on 07 June, however opponents succeeded in gathering more than the 120,577 valid voter signatures needed to force a referendum in November. Marriage equality is now held up pending a decision by Washington voters [L1.15], [R1.14].

On 13 February 2012, Governor Gregoire will sign the same-sex marriage bill at 11:30 a.m. The law will take effect 90 days after the session ends next month, but opponents have promised to fight back with a ballot measure that would allow voters to overturn it [R1.13].

If opponents of the legislation file a referendum (Referendum 74) and gather almost 121,000 signatures by 06 June same-sex marriage will go on the November ballot [R1.12].

On 08 February 2012, the House of Representatives approved 54–43 the Senate-passed bill to legalize gay marriage. Governor Christine Gregoire has promised to sign the bill into law [R1.11].

On 01 February 2012, the Senate passed the marriage bill 28–21. The bill is almost certain to pass the House this week or early next, and governor Christine Gregoire has promised to sign the legislation [R1.10].

On 31 January 2012, the Senate Rules Committee voted 14–7 to move the marriage bill SB 6239, (companion House Bill 2516) to a Senate floor vote [R1.9].

On 26 January 2012, the Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee approved the same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 4 to 3 [R1.8].

On 17 January 2012, HB 2516 (companion Bill SB 6239) was introduced. The Bills would end discrimination in marriage based on gender or sexual orientation [R1.7].

On 09 January 2011, HB 1963 (companion Bill SB 5793) was introduced The Bills would end discrimination in marriage based on gender or sexual orientation [R1.7].

On 11 January 2012, a same-sex marriage bill was expected to be introduced by the end of the week, and if lawmakers pass the measure during the current 60-day legislative session, Washington would be the seventh state to approve gay marriage [R1.6].

On 01 August 2011, the Suquamish Tribal Council voted to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples on its reservation near Seattle, allowing the tribal court to issue a marriage license to two unmarried people, regardless of their sex, if they're at least 18 years old and at least one of them is enrolled in the tribe [R1.5].

On 05 April 2011, Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law bill HB1649 that recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages with all the rights and protections given to registered domestic partnerships in Washington [R1.4].

On 30 March 2011, the Senate passed bill (quaere HB1649) in a 28–19 vote which, if signed into law by Governor Chris Gregoire's desk would allow the state to recognize marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed elsewhere [R1.3].

On 04 March 2011, the State House voted 58–39 to approve bill HB 1649 to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state as valid domestic partnerships. The measure now goes to the Senate [R1.2].

On 14 February 2011, Democrats in the state Senate introduced a bill to make it legal for same-sex couples to wed. An identical bill was to arrive 15 February in the House signed by 42 members of that chamber. The chances of the Bills passing are probably not too high [R1.1].

State law had always defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and in 1998, the Defense of Marriage Act was passed banning same-sex marriages and prohibiting the recognition of gay marriages deemed lawful in other states [R1.0].

2.

Cities & Towns

In April 2004, Seattle City Council passed a measure extending municipal employee and volunteer benefits to married same-sex couples [R2.1].

Same-sex marriages are prohibited under a Washington state law. The municipal legislation involves same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunal

On 13 March 2012, Judge Thomas McPhee finalized the ballot language on R-74, eliminating language recommended by the Attorney General's office that would have said the legislation “would redefine marriage” [C3.3], [R3.2].

In May 2004, King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer dismissed a lawsuit against Mayor Greg Nickels over his recognition of same-sex marriages from other states - affirming the city's right to determine benefits for its employees [R3.1].

R1.20 The Guardian: Gregoire Signs Washington Gay Marriage Law 06 DEC 12
R1.19 Washington Secretary of State: November 06, 2012 General Election Results (Accessed 09 NOV 12)
R1.18 PinkNews: US 2012: Washington state passes same-sex marriage 07 NOV 12
R1.17 The Advocate: Washington Native American Tribe Recognizes Marriage Equality 09 SEP 13
R1.16 PrideSource: Opponents block gay marriage in Washington state 14 JUN 12
L1.15 Washington State Legislature: SB6239 - 2011-12 Concerning Civil Marriage and Domestic Partnerships (Accessed 10 NOV 12)
R1.14 Seattle PI: Gregoire signs same-sex marriage bill 13 FEB 12
R1.13 WisconsinRapidsTribune: Governor Gregoire to sign gay marriage bill on Monday 09 FEB 12
R1.12 The Spokesman Review: Same sex marriage signing, ref filing on Monday 10 FEB 12
R1.11 Reuters US: Washington state House passes gay marriage bill 08 FEB 12
R1.10 The Advocate: Washington Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill 01 FEB 12
R1.9 SeattlePI: WA Senate to vote on gay marriage bill Wednesday 31 JAN 12
R1.8 Washington State Legislature: SB6239 0 2011-12 Concerning civil marriage and domestic partnerships (Accessed 29 JAN 12)
R1.7 Washington State Legislature: Bills by Topic Results (Accessed 23 JAN 12)
R1.6 The News Tribune: Gay marriage within reach in Washington Legislature 11 JAN 12
R1.5 SeattlePi: Indian tribe in Washington approves same-sex marriage 02 AUG 11
R1.4 The Seattle Times: Washington domestic partnership law gets adjusted 05 APR 11
R1.3 The Advocate: Washington to Recognize Out-of-State Gay Marriages 30 MAR 11
R1.2 The Seattle Times: Washington bill recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages 05 MAR 11
R1.1 HeraldNet: Just in time for Valentine's Day, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage 14 FEB 11
R1.16 Associated Press: Gay rights: Same-sex unions, civil rights bill unveiled 19 FEB 03
R2.1 Associated Press: Marital Benefits for Same-sex Couples Approved in Seattle 13 APR 04
C3.3 Order Granting Petitions: Preserve of Marriage Washington v. State of Washington et al No. 12-2-00356-1 PDF 197.46kb, 13 MAR 12
R3.2 Publicola: Judge Scraps Anti-Gay Rights Spin from Ballot Title 13 MAR 12
R3.1 Seattle Times: Granting of Benefits for Gay Marriages Upheld 22 MAY 04
 

See also: The Legal Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Parenting & Divorce in Washington State McKinley Irvin, Seattle (Accessed 25 JUL 13)
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 11 May 2011, Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law House Bill 1267, extending state rules regarding parentage to cover same-sex couples registered as domestic partners, effective 22 July 2011. A person is a presumed parent if, for the first two years of the child's life, the person resided in the same home with the child and openly treated the child as his or her own. The terms "mother" and "father" are replaced with "parent" and "man" and "woman" are replaced with "person" [R1.2].

On 18 May 2009, Governor Chris Gregoire signed a bill that enables birth certificates for children born to a registered same-sex couple to automatically include the names of both parents [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 16 May 2011, the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1, in In re Parentage and Custody of A.F.J., 2011 Westlaw 1833461, rejected a challenge brought by the child's biological mother Jackie, who was resisting parenting time for her former same-sex partner, determining that Mary, having basically raised and cared for the child for most of its life up to that point, should be deemed a de facto parent [R2.2].


In November 2001, a state appeals court in Seattle ruled a judge cannot force a King County woman to pay child support to her former lesbian partner because the woman doesn't meet the legal definition of a parent. In the first such appellate ruling in Washington state and nationally, the Court of Appeals Division I said someone can only be a legal parent through biological means or through adoption [R2.1].

R1.2 HeraldNet: Governor signs law adding same-sex couples to state’s definition of parents 11 MAY 11
R1.1 The Advocate: "Everything But Marriage" Law in Washington 19 MAY 09
R2.2 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: Washington Appeals Court Affirms De Facto Parental Status for Foster Mom JUN 11
R2.1 Tacoma News Tribune: Court: Lesbian Doesn't Need to Pay Child Support 21 NOV 01
 

See also: The Legal Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Parenting & Divorce in Washington State McKinley Irvin, Seattle (Accessed 25 JUL 13)
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In March 2010, the Senate passed an anti-bullying law that included protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, with a vote of 48–0. Earlier in the session, the House voted to pass the bill 97–0. Governor Chris Gregoire vowed to sign the bill when it hits her desk [R1.3].

Previously:

In March 2000, House Bill 1444, that would require Washington school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies, won easy passage in the Senate, likely capping a five-year political struggle by its supporters. The bill passed the House earlier and was expected to be signed into law by Gov. Gary Locke [R1.2].

From 1999, a Washington State law prohibits any threat because of a person’s sexual orientation, race, color, religion, ancestry, gender, or handicap [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In November 1998, a former student at Kentwood High School who sued the Kent School District, alleging it failed to protect him from years of anti-gay harassment and violence, agreed to a US$40,000 settlement [R2.1].

R1.3 365Gay.com: Washington state senate passes anti-bullying law 09 MAR 10
R1.2 Seattle Times: Anti-bullying Measure Clears Senate Hurdle 07 MAR 02
R1.1 MSNBC: Man Arrested for Allegedly Making Threats 09 AUG 99
R2.1 Associated Press: Settlement Reached in Harassment Lawsuit Filed by Gay Student 07 NOV 98

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