Lawmakers in Washington state have voted to give same-sex domestic partners all the same rights as married couples, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Republicans, fearing the move would lead to legalized same-sex marriage in the state, unsuccessfully tried to add amendments to the bill to keep a clear distinction between domestic partnerships and marriage.
"This bill is about justice," said Democratic Rep. Jamie Pedersen, the state's highest-profile openly gay lawmaker. "This bill completes our work with domestic partnerships." The bill gives registered domestic partners hundreds of extra rights and responsibilities and includes them in statutes ranging from employment to pensions that had previously addressed only married couples.