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Reminder: Most domestic partnerships converting to marriage June 30

by Brian Zylstra | June 18th, 2014

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Although we’ve already put out the word months ago via blog, news release and letters to domestic partnership couples, we’re reminding that on June 30, same-sex domestic partnerships in which both partners are under 62 years of age will be converted to marriage.

If these partners have married or terminated their partnership or are in the process of termination, and they have notified our office’s Corporations Division, they will not be converted to marriage.

Corporations Director Pam Floyd says the database is changing hourly as staff updates the status of partnerships, but that a ballpark estimate is that between 3,000 and 4,000 conversions will occur, and about 2,000 will remain on the DP registry because one or both partners are 62 or older.

Last March, the Corporations Division sent a letter to nearly 7,500 active domestic partnership couples, including a copy and summary of the voter-approved Marriage and Equality Act of 2012, and a letter from the state Department of Health, which is handling the actual conversion to marriage.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman on the conversion:

“Although we’ve put out the word and there have been media reports about it, there probably are some same-sex couples registered with our office who either aren’t aware that their domestic partnership will automatically switch to marriage, or know about it but haven’t taken action. We don’t want any couples to be caught off-guard when their partnership is changed into marriage on June 30.”

The conversion process was included in Referendum 74, approved by voters in 2012 to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington. The full measure was debated and approved by the Legislature and governor earlier that year.

The Department of Health is creating certificates of marriage for all same-sex state-registered domestic partners who have not married or terminated their partnership. The department is using data and information from our office to identify these partnerships. A copy of a marriage certificate can be ordered from DOH.

Only state-registered domestic partnerships will be converted to same-sex marriage under state law.

If couples in domestic partnerships have questions, they should check the status of their domestic partnerships here or contact our office at (360) 725-0377 or corps@sos.wa.gov.

Starting June 30, our office will only file domestic partnerships when at least one partner is 62 or older, regardless of gender.

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