Approve R-71Last year the Washington State Legislature approved the domestic partnership law (Senate Bill 5688) and in May 2009 Governor Gregoire signed the bill. The domestic partnership law would ensure that all Washington families, including same sex couples and opposite sex older couples, have the same protections, the same rights, and the same obligations as their neighbors.

However, registered domestic partnerships and their families could lose important protections and rights made possible by the bill. This fall Referendum 71 will be on the ballot asking the public to accept or reject this bill. The Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington State along with our partners and community leaders throughout Washington urge you to VOTE YES AND APPROVE REFERENDUM 71 this fall.

The Domestic Partnership law not only covers important protections that are usually afforded by marriage, but also important rights for domestic partners. Under the domestic partnership law, if a firefighter or police officer, who goes to work each day to protect the rest of us, is injured in the line of duty, their family will be protected. When a spouse gets hurt in the workplace, his wife and his family will be taken care of—this law will ensure that domestic partners across Washington will be afforded the same rights to see their family in the hospital if they are hurt or injured and to take family leave so that they can care for them.

Married couples already have this right in Washington and domestic partners deserve to have their rights protected as well. This is a civil rights issue. The Asian Pacific American community has a history of fighting for our civil rights. The time has come again for the APA community to join together and VOTE YES TO APPROVE REFERENDUM 71 to ensure that all Washington’s partners and families have the same right as all other Washington residents.

Teresita Batayola, Alaric Bien, Cherry Cayabyab, Joanne Cheung, Debaduttah Dash, Cindy Domingo, Lynn Domingo, Michelle Huynh, Alma Kern, Hyeok Kim, Ruthann Kurose, Tracy Lai, Vu Le, Tony Lee, Bettie Luke, Sharon Maeda, Heather Minton, Diane Narasaki, Shankar Narayan, Lan Pham, Lua Pritchard, Li Tan, Phillip Sit, Alan Sugiyama, Sorya Svy, Liezl Tomas Rebugio, Thao Tran

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