State notifying thousands that partnerships will be marriages

The Seattle TimesMarch 13, 2014 

The Secretary of State this week is sending notices to nearly 7,500 couples in Washington registered as being in domestic partnerships.

The packet of information, to be sent to each partner, includes letters reminding couples that on June 30, the state will automatically convert their relationship to marriage if both of them are under age 62 and they’ve not converted their partnership to marriage or started the process to dissolve it.

By the latest count, about 6,200 couples face this automatic change in marital status as part of the same-sex marriage law that then-Gov. Chris Gregoire signed and voters approved in 2012.

The remaining 1,000-plus couples receiving the letter are in relationships, in which at least one person is 62 or older. They won’t be affected by this change — regardless of whether they are gay or straight.

Domestic partnerships will remain available to them and senior couples may continue to enroll.

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