Washington Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage

Spokane, Wash. - Washington is joining a list of states that recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages.

The bill was passed on March 30th and will allow gay couples moving to Washington to have access to the state's domestic-partnership law. However, the passage of the bill means same-sex marriages still are not legal across the state.

"The more states that do this, the more credibility we have of getting the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) repealed, because the individual states are saying we recognize this, why don't you? So I think that's a big deal," said Carol Ehrhart, President of the Inland Northwest LGBT Center.

The new state law grants all the state-level rights and obligations of marriage same-sex couples. Before the bill passed, only straight couples were recognized. The bill has cleared the Legislature and is headed to Governor Gregoire's desk for her expected signature.

Opponents argue this is just one step closer to allowing same-sex marriage in Washington state. They say the bill is directly undermining the state's Defense of Marriage Act that was passed in 1998 which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.