marriage-equalityOn May 18, 2009, Governor Christine Gregoire signed the Domestic Partnership Law, which provides the same state rights and responsibilities to domestic partners that are afforded to legally married couples. This November, registered domestic partners and their families could lose these important protections, unless you vote to Approve R-71.

Some of the protections and rights under this law are:

  • Death benefits for partners of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty
  • Right to use sick leave to care for a seriously ill partner
  • Pension benefits for partners of teachers and other public employees
  • Right to worker’s compensation benefits if a partner is killed in the course of employment
  • Victims’ rights

In addition to protecting the families of same-sex couples who are denied the right to marry, the domestic partnership law provides protection to opposite-sex older couples where one partner is at least 62 years of age. Over 5,000 couples in Washington have registered as domestic partners and they serve our communities and raise their families in every county in the state.

Domestic partnerships are an important, immediate step to protect Washington’s families, particularly for API communities. The API community is broad and diverse, with over 30 ethnic groups and more than 200 dialects. However, a common thread we share is the importance of family and community. Approving R-71 honors our families and community members who are not allowed to marry, and grants them the legal rights to take care of their loved ones. Supporting this measure also enables our elders to protect their partners and care for their families. A librarian who has worked for 25 years in our public schools deserves to know that if her partner outlives her, her partner will be able to rely on their pension for a safety net.  That’s what this law does.

Please join the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – Seattle Chapter to approve Referendum 71. Unpaid leave. Pension benefits. Caring for a loved one. Knowing your family will be taken care of if tragedy strikes. Keeping a small business in the family. That is what the domestic partnership law does.  Vote APPROVE on 71.

The Seattle Chapter of NAPAWF is dedicated to forging a grassroots progressive movement for social and economic justice and the political empowerment of Asian and Pacific Islander women and girls. NAPAWF unites our diverse communities through organizing, education, and advocacy. Please check our Seattle Chapter website at If you would like to get involved in NAPAWF, or send us an e-mail, [email protected]..

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