Domestic partners to automatically be married on June 30

Domestic partners to automatically be married on June 30

Credit: KING

Domestic partners to automatically be married on June 30



Posted on May 8, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Updated Friday, May 9 at 9:07 PM

SEATTLE -- Aaron Walton and Ryan Cole were in Olympia in 2012 when the State Senate approved gay marriage.  For the pair, it paved the way to their own union.

They became domestic partners two years ago.

"I've been wracking my brain for some creative ways to pop the question one of these days soon," said Walton.

"One of these days soon within two months," Cole soon responded from their Capitol Hill apartment.

On June 30th, whether they propose to each other or not, their domestic partnership will convert into marriage under state law.

"Marriage is wonderful and I'm glad we get this gift," said Cole, "At the end of the day, I just want to be accepted and loved for who I am."

Written into the legislation approved by voters with Referendum 74, nearly seven-thousand domestic partnerships will automatically become marriages next month.  The change does not apply if one member of the couple is over 62-years-old.

The Secretary of State's office said Thursday 1,162 domestic partnerships were terminated, but 6,844 remain active.

"I think we're living in a time of a really changing landscape," said family law attorney Janet Helson, "LGBT couples live in a very complex environment and this is one piece of the complexity."

Helson participated in a meeting Thursday night to educate gay couples on the changes once marriage kicks in.  Most importantly, there are tax and financial implications within around one-thousand federal protections that take effect.

"We really want to get the word out there," said Helson, "You might get married."

Cole and Walton plan to let the state marry them, partially because it cuts the cost of applying for a marriage license, but mostly because they are in no rush.  They have no doubt of their desire to be wed, but another same-sex couple is getting married first, and it includes Cole's sister.

"This is who I'm going to spend the rest of my life with," said Walton, "Marriage is happening and I never thought it was going to."

Related links from the Secretary of State's Office:

Registration information

Frequently asked questions

Notice regarding same sex marriage and domestic partnerships