State domestic partnership expansion bill passed

State domestic partnership expansion bill passed
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Legislature has passed a measure to expand the state's domestic partnership law.

The Senate gave final approval on a 29-20 vote after minimal debate. The bill now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is expected to sign it.

The measure adds domestic partners to sections of laws where previously only spouses were mentioned, including areas referring to probate and trusts, community property and homestead exemptions, and guardianship and powers of attorney.

The underlying domestic partnership law, passed last year, already provides hospital visitation rights, the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations, and inheritance rights when there is no will.

Opponents argue that expanding the current law dilutes traditional marriage.