On June 30, 2014 Domestic Partnerships Merge into Civil Marriages
Washington State Referendum 74-Same Sex Marriage Law

Washington State Referendum Measure Number 74 will be taking effect on June 30, 2014. This particular measure will affect a large group of individuals, specifically State Registered Domestic Partnerships throughout the state of Washington automatically if action is not taken prior to the impending effective date. This measure outlines the new eligibility requirements that a couple must meet in order to register as a Domestic Partner.

How It Will Affect Marriage
Prior to the implementation of this measure, “marriage” was defined as a union between a man and a woman above the ages of 18. With Washington State Referendum Measure Number 74, same-sex couples are now able to marry under Washington State law as the restrictions against same sex marriage is effectively removed.“This is a positive step towards recognizing the equal rights of same sex couples. The issue many people have, however, stems from other adjustments to Washington State laws that are being made simultaneously.” States Paul Eagle with Eagle Law Offices, P.S., an experienced family law attorney in Seattle.

Registered Domestic Partnerships
Under the new same-sex marriage law measure, only two particular types of couples will be permitted to register as a domestic partnership with the state of Washington. After June 30, 2014, only opposite sex couples with one individual of at least age 62 and any same-sex couple will be able to register with the state as a domestic partnership. Any other couple will no longer be permitted to receive Registered Domestic Partnership status under Washington law unless they meet these criteria.

Existing Registered Domestic Partnerships: What Happens?
All State Registered Domestic Partnerships in which neither party is under the age of 62 and of the same sex will be merged into a civil marriage as of June 30, 2014. This status change occurs automatically unless the parties involved commence dissolution proceedings of the domestic partnership prior to June 30, 2014 or marry.

Civil Unions Outside of Washington May Be Affected
Any legal union that took place in another jurisdiction and deemed valid can and will be recognized in Washington as a Registered Domestic Partnership if that union is equivalent. In other words, if you and your same-sex partner lived in another state and entered into an official relationship then moved to Washington where you are now considered a permanent resident of the state, your relationship may be automatically converted to a legal marriage in Washington as of June 30, 2014.