Hot off the press! The Washington State Senate has passed a bill conferring domestic partnership rights upon same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexuals age 62 and older, giving them the right to visit a partner in the hospital, inherit their property without a will and make funeral arrangements, among other things.
Equality Day 07 was in behalf of this bill and those of us who attended ED07 lobbied legislators to vote yes, which most did.
The bill still has to pass the House, where it will easily find favor. Governor Chris Gregoire has said she supports the measure and will sign it.
This is not the same thing as marriage equality, but it is a step toward justice for same sex couples and older couples who cannot marry for financial reasons.
There were, of course, mean-spirited remarks about the homosexual agenda, etc., but I think Sen. Ed Murray, one of the bill's sponsors, put it well when he said, "You have prevented us from marrying; please do not prevent us from caring for each other."
Marriage equality is still on the Religious Coalition for Equality's agenda but this is a great first step.