WASHINGTON: State To Convert All Domestic Partnerships To Marriages

Via the Seattle Times:

Thousands of gay and lesbian domestic partners who have not married or legally dissolved their unions by the end of June will have their relationships automatically converted to marriage — courtesy of the state. It’s the final piece of the state’s same-sex marriage law — a provision about which many couples are apparently unaware and one sure to trigger some uncomfortable conversations. Although domestic partnerships are essentially marriage by a different name, “people don’t think of them as the same thing …” said Jason Holloway, president of QLaw Association, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bar association. Those being plunged into matrimony will no doubt include couples who simply hadn’t given it much thought.

Domestic partnerships became available in 2007 and an estimated 6500 couples remain so joined. The automatic June conversion to marriage does not apply to seniors, who may elect to remain in their domestic partnership.