Gay partnership measure approved by voters in Washington state

A measure expanding benefits for same-sex couples – known as the “everything but marriage” law – has passed in Washington state, the first time such an equality measure has been approved at the state level by voters. Referendum 71 currently has about 52% of the votes, and a margin of 60,000, with 72% of ballots counted.

Same-sex couples can now use sick leave to care for a partner, and gain rights with adoption, child support and custody. “This is a day for which we can all look back with pride,” one supporter tells the AP. Opponents say there’s still much counting to do, and won’t yet concede.

Note to the Associated Press: We are all ‘pro-marriage’

The AP reports: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has temporarily blocked Washington state officials from releasing the names of people who signed a ballot measure on gay rights.

Kennedy’s ruling Monday temporarily blocks a federal appeals court ruling last week that ordered the release of the names. Kennedy said his order would remain in effect while he considers a request by a pro-marriage group that asked him to reverse the appeals court ruling.

Confused? Us too. Since I’d like to marry my partner of 19 years – I consider myself pro-marriage.

The case involves Referendum 71, a ballot initiative that asks Washington voters to approve or reject the state’s so-called “everything but marriage” law, which grants registered domestic partners the same legal rights as married heterosexuals.