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Washington governor signs bill recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire [official website] on Tuesday signed a bill [materials] recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages [JURIST news archive] as legal domestic partnerships. House Bill 1649 amends current law [AP report] that acknowledges out-of-state domestic partnerships and civil unions, but excludes same-sex marriage. The Senate [official website] approved the bill by a 28-19 vote [Seattle Times report] last week after the House of Representatives [official website] passed the bill [JURIST report] by a similar margin earlier in the month. The bill will become effective 90 days after the close of the current legislative session.

In January, the Wyoming House of Representatives [official website] approved a bill [text, PDF] that would prevent Wyoming from recognizing [JURIST report] same-sex marriages and civil unions performed out-of-state. However, several states recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. Earlier that month, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King [official website] issued an opinion stating that gay marriages from out of state would likely be legal [New Mexico Independent report] there. Last year, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler [official website] declared that the state should recognize [JURIST report] same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington, DC [JURIST reports].

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