Joe Mirabella

Travel to Washington to Get Better for Married Gay and Lesbian Couples

Filed By Joe Mirabella | March 31, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: domestic partner benefits, marriage, travel, Washington State

If you are in a married, same-sex relationship, you may be a lot like me. Before I travel to any other state or country I familiarize myself with the local and state laws. I always want to be aware whether my Washington state domestic partnership is recognized. I want to know if we are protected in case something happens.

IMG_1082.JPGI usually don't travel to states that don't offer reciprocal relationship recognition unless it is absolutely necessary. When I do, it feels like playing Frogger on a busy highway. It is nerve wracking.

In Washington, gay and lesbian couples who are legally married in another state, the District of Columbia, or Canada were not protected when traveling here.

On Wednesday, the Washington legislature passed HB1649 to protect those couples when they are in Washington. Once the governor signs the bill and it becomes law, those couples will get all the same protections offered to Washington's over 8000 domestic partners.

In Washington, domestic partnerships carry all the same rights and responsibilities as married, opposite-sex couples.

So with the perfect travel season upon us, you can feel safe bringing your legal relationship to Washington this summer. If something happens, we've got you covered.

Just in case you are planning to travel here, you should download the Greater Seattle Business Association's (GSBA) new iPhone app. The app will help you identify gay and lesbian and allied business that are dedicated GSBA's mission. It is free and available by clicking here.

I hope to see you here soon. It is going to be a beautiful, beautiful summer.

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Full disclosure: I serve on the Board of Directors for GSBA and collaborated with a team on the development of the app. But it is pretty cool, so you should definitely check it out. images by Joe Mirabella.


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