I was fortunate enough to listen to President Obama address the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign. As he spoke of the changes our nation has made to include the rich diversity that makes us so great, I was stirred to think of the opportunity we as Washington citizens have to continue our rich heritage of inclusive equality.
Our state legislators passed a bill, signed into law by our governor, ensuring the same protections and responsibilities to domestic partners like that of their neighbors. It is not a law guaranteeing any special or new rights that do not already exist; it just extends them to all Washington citizens.
By voting to approve Referendum 71, the law will stand and we will protect families in Washington state. All families with children need the same protection under the law. Police and firefighters who risk their lives to protect our communities need domestic partnership laws if they are hurt or killed in the line of duty, so their families are taken care of by their pension or workers’ compensation.
Teachers need the domestic partnership laws to ensure their families receiver survivor pension benefits.
Seniors need domestic partnership laws to keep their hard-earned Social Security, military or pension benefits from risk.
By voting to approve Referendum 71, you will vote to ensure that all families should be treated equally and fairly under the law, especially in times of crisis.