Secretary of State Kim Wyman and her Corporations and Charities Division are reminding state-registered domestic partners that on June 30, the new same-sex marriage law will automatically convert roughly 6,500 state-registered domestic partnerships into marriage.
The division is sending a letter this week to nearly 7,500 active domestic partnership couples, including a copy and summary of the Marriage Equality Act of 2012, a letter from the Department of Health, a request for information with return envelope, and a sample of a certificate of marriage. The letter is being sent to same-sex domestic partnership couples, as well as those couples in which one partner is at least 62 years of age.
Wyman on why the letter is being sent:
“There are many same-sex couples registered with us who either aren’t aware that their domestic partnership will automatically switch to marriage, or they know about it but haven’t given it much thought. We don’t want any couples to be caught off-guard when their partnership is changed into marriage.”
The actual conversion will be done by the Department of Health. A copy of a marriage certificate can be ordered from DOH.
Corporations and Charities Division Director Pam Floyd, whose division includes the state’s domestic partnership program, said not all state-registered domestic partnerships will be converted. Those partnerships with at least one partner 62 years of age or older, regardless of gender, will not be converted. They may choose to be married if they wish, but the state will not convert them. If a couple has a city- or county-registered domestic partnership, the couple will not be converted to marriage.
Only state-registered domestic partnerships will be converted under state law, Floyd said.
“If you have a state-registered domestic partnership and do not wish to be converted to marriage, you must file a termination request with your Clerk of Court before June 30 to avoid being converted to marriage,” Floyd said. “If you have any other change in your domestic partnership, such as an address change, marriage in or out of state, or other termination, you may notify our office by mail, e-mail or phone, and our staff will help you update your information.”