On Wednesday, March 12, Washington State Governor Gregoire will sign a law expanding the rights available to same-sex couples who register as domestic partners. It's a civil rights advance...making same-sex couples more like married different-sex couples (but still not equality!). But look at some of the rights that now only registered and married couples will get: the right not to lose your home when a co-owner of the home dies and the right to share a room in a nursing home. These rights shouldn't be tied to marriage or partner registration! NO ONE should lose the home they live in due to tax consequences when a co-owner of the home dies. And the right to share a room with a loved one in the final years of life should be about supporting and nurturing the relationships that bring happiness and emotional well-being to nursing home residents...not about marriage or domestic partnership.
In addition, unmarried couples in Washington state (gay and straight) already have their property divided when they split up in the same manner as married couples. It's a rule that I encourage other states to adopt!