The bill passed on a mostly party-line 30-18 vote Tuesday night and now heads to the House. The Senate rejected two Republican amendments, including one that would have sent the measure to voters. The bill expands on previous domestic partnership laws by adding reference to partnerships alongside all remaining areas of state law where currently only married couples are mentioned, statutes ranging from labor and employment to pensions and other public employee benefits.
Democrats have a 63-35 majority in the Washington state House, making it a fair bet that the bill will pass there. States currently with civil unions or domestic partners laws: Vermont, New Jersey, California, New Hampshire, and Oregon.