[Vision2020] Local Couples React to Domestic Partner Laws

keely emerinemix kjajmix1 at msn.com
Sun Mar 16 08:16:29 PDT 2008

I echo Tom's gratitude to our mayor and most of our council.  Sometimes I feel as though our little blue dot in a bright red state is fading, but then good things happen.  This was the right thing to do.


> To: vision2020 at moscow.com
> From: thansen at moscow.com
> Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2008 15:03:15 +0000
> Subject: [Vision2020] Local Couples React to Domestic Partner Laws
> Again, thank you to Mayor Chaney and those four Moscow city council 
> members who voted to provide health care to domestic partners of city 
> employees.  It's going to be a long journey.  It's nice to know that 
> Moscow is willing to take that first step.
> >From today's (March 15, 2008) Moscow-Pullman Daily News -
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Local couples react to domestic partner laws
> Expansion of rights 'aren't going unnoticed' 
> By Hillary Hamm 
> Saturday, March 15, 2008 - Page Updated at 12:00:00 AM
> Charlie Anderson hoped it would happen during his lifetime.
> The 24-year-old gay Washington State University graduate student is 
> thrilled by a recent Washington state law that expands the legal rights of 
> domestic partners. The law was signed Wednesday by Gov. Chris Gregoire's 
> signature and increases the rights and responsibilities of same-sex 
> couples on issues relating to guardianship, community property, estate 
> planning, dissolutions and taxes.
> Anderson said any new rights given to same-sex couples is progress.
> "I've been optimistic that I would witness the shift happen ... I'm 
> completely excited that the opportunity is there if we want it. It's a big 
> step in the right direction," he said. "It's been interesting watching the 
> benefits progress and grow and move toward providing domestic partnership 
> and maybe someday, marriage."
> The expanded rights are an extension of a 2007 law, which created a state 
> domestic partnership registry to provide couples with increased 
> protection. The bill added domestic partners to sections of laws only 
> spouses were recognized previously, such as hospital visitations, medical 
> decision making, recognition on a partner's death certificate, control 
> over a partner's remains and belongings, and health insurance benefits for 
> state employees.
> Approximately 3,254 couples have registered as domestic partners through 
> the Washington Office of the Secretary of State, Corporations Division. 
> Under the most recent bill, rights apply to couples currently registered 
> as domestic partners - or those who register in the future - and are 
> effective 90 days from Thursday, which was the last day of the Legislative 
> session. 
> Pullman resident Lisa Laughter is pleased by the new law, which will 
> recognize her partner and newborn child as a family unit as much as she 
> does.
> Laughter and Amanda Thompson registered as domestic partners last fall, 
> shortly after their two-year anniversary. Laughter said she is especially 
> glad for the new language specific to guardianship, which will ensure 
> Thompson, 28, has rights as a parent when it comes to the couple's week-
> old daughter, Elliott Morgan Thompson.
> "That's something that we've been very concerned about - having a new 
> child. Just being able to have those rights is important," said the 30-
> year-old Laughter, who is the child's birth mother. 
> Heidi Stanton, director of the WSU Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual 
> Orientation Resource Center and her partner of three years had a 
> commitment ceremony last fall. They've also registered as domestic 
> partners and purchased a home in Garfield. 
> Stanton said the timing of the expanded legal rights is good, especially 
> since the couple hope to have a baby within a year. She hopes the 
> Legislature maintains its momentum and creates more and more rights for 
> same-sex couples with children. 
> "I think it would be better if we didn't have to have the (domestic 
> partner) cards - if we all just had the rights," she said. "But anything 
> that recognizes us as equal parents is good. Protecting relationships with 
> children is crucial."
> Thompson said she's glad to see the list of legal rights is growing, 
> though community property, power of attorney and public assistance issues 
> don't currently apply to the couple. 
> "A lot of these things may not apply right now, but it's good to know 
> they're there. It makes me feel more secure," she said. "We're definitely 
> moving toward same-sex marriages in this state. It's a huge step."
> Anderson is pleased same sex couples can now file joint taxes - a 
> right "that's been a major benefit for heterosexual couples for years," he 
> said.
> "That's a step in the right direction," he added. "I just want to thank 
> the governor. These changes aren't going unnoticed in the (gay and 
> lesbian) community."
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Reminder:  Friendship Square, 12:00 noon, next Saturday (March 22nd).  BE 
> Seeya round town, Moscow.
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> "People who ridicule others while hiding behind anonymous monikers in chat-
> room forums are neither brave nor clever." 
> - Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch (August 21,
> 2007)
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