[Vision2020] Local Couples React to Domestic Partner Laws
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
> 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
> 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
> "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,
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> mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
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