How are domestic partnerships a “kick in the teeth,” Senator?

Sen. Brian Hatfield at Postman:

In the 28-19 Senate vote last week for the domestic partnership bill only one senator’s vote was likely in question. Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, had a pro-gay rights record while in the House. He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1998. But Thursday he was one of four Democrats who voted against Senate Bill 5336.

“Something I didn’t appreciate and understand 12 years ago (as a freshman lawmaker) was that people of faith are very concerned this is going to hurt our society,”

I respect the Senator a great deal, and I don’t want to pick on him. He’s not being hateful like the batshit insane Sen. Val Stevens (R-Old Testament). But I must ask, Senator Hatfield:

Who’s getting “kicked in the teeth” when longtime couples have the chance to exercise rights of inheritance? Who’s personal and deeply held beliefs are trampled when one gay parent cannot make health decisions for the couple’s child in an emergency?

As a fellow straight guy, I’m not a natural advocate for the rights of gays and lesbians. I mean, I’m straight. I already have all the rights I want. But it seems an affront to common decency that we haven’t, until now, afforded our gay friends the kind of common sense legal framework all us straights take for granted.

When I think “kick in the teeth,” I think about families with two dads or two moms, and what they’ve endured. Do domestic partnerships hurt society? Hardly. In fact, I believe they make it stronger.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m in the same camp as you, Will. I’m as heterosexual as rabbits come; in fact, my entire mission in life is to assure the continuation of my species by fucking as many cute, fluffy, female bunnies as I can squeeze into my busy work day! I just don’t see where two gays getting married in Massachusetts undermines my relationship with Mrs. Rabbit. On the other hand, Mrs. Rabbit’s big mouth

  2. 2

    Mrs. Rabbit spews:

    Roger’s comment has been interrupted by a technical malfunction. Roger will return to this board after he comes home from the veterinary hospital.

  3. 4

    Thor spews:

    What puzzles me is that these DPs do even not introduce any legal contracts that same-sex couples can’t already enact with the help of a lawyer (power of atty, heath care proxy, etc.). They simply neatly package a few, albeit useful, already available standard contracts. So it makes no sense that the Senator and other legislators are against DPs. Unless, of course, they are either a) against the abililty of people to designate powers of attorney, etc., or b) they are simply bigots looking for an excuse. That not one legislator has moved to abolish the ability of two people to designate each other power of attorney or health care proxy, kinda proves that they fall into the “b” category.

  4. 5

    thor spews:

    Only some people of faith agree with Senator Hatfield. Most don’t. So as a politician he has now irritated people of faith who don’t agree with some other people of faith and everybody else who thinks denying basics to a whole lot of decent gay people. That’s pretty dumb.

    This domestic partnership bill that passed the Washington Senate is a really modest proposal that is nowhere near gay marriage or civil unions – nowhere near real marriage equality.

    Hatfield and three other Senate democrats – along with all but one member of the state Senate GOP (Dale Brandland) voted against what amounts to a baby-step toward equality.

    That makes them pretty radical on this subject and way out of step with most voters in the state – in addition to being wrong.

  5. 6

    Person spews:

    This does make me happy as a gay Washingtonian that I can soon do something that sort of gives my monogomous relationship some more meaning. Don’t get me wrong it already has a lot meaning but this is just another step and it feels right. Hatfield is just trying to make sure he gets re-elected. Remember, the timber industry has just about collapsed and Democrats on the coast in rural areas can’t be there forever.

  6. 7

    rob spews:

    The way the bill is written it is an employment act for lawyers. If two guys or girls are roommates and one dies the other can claim inheritance rights, social security and whatever else they can think of, regardless whether they are gay lovers or not.

    It is another poor attempt by liberals at governing.

    Couples would have to share a home, not be married or in a domestic relationship with someone else, and be at least 18.

    Similar to California law, unmarried heterosexual couples would also be eligible for domestic partnerships if one partner were at least 62.

  7. 8

    Thor spews:

    Hatfield is quoted in your linked article as saying

    “I guess my ‘no’ vote was a way of standing up and saying, ‘Maybe, this is a little too much, too soon,’ ” he said. “We’re taking people of faith and kicking them in the teeth, and I didn’t want to be a part of that.”

    Too much?! As noted above, it’s nothing new whatsoever.

    Too soon?! Just because Hatfield has been asleep at the wheel is no reason to make life harder for loving families.

    Kicking POF in the teeth?! Excuse me Senator, but their rights do NOT change with DP legislation. It’s gay people who are being constantly kicked in the teeth by bigots like him who feel that gays are less than human and to be treated like second-class citizens.


  8. 9

    Thor spews:

    Rob said:
    “The way the bill is written it is an employment act for lawyers. If two guys or girls are roommates and one dies the other can claim inheritance rights, social security and whatever else they can think of, regardless whether they are gay lovers or not.”

    You obviously have not read the bill, Rob. It does the opposite of what you suggest. It takes business away from lawyers and gives it to the state at a hugely reduced rate.

    Social Security is a federal benefit. Because of the federal Defense of Marriag Act, which says the feds will not recognize gay marriages, civil unions, etc., SS benefits are not available to gay spouses. The WA DP law cannot change that.

    Inform yourself, ROb!

  9. 13

    rob spews:

    Re: 9. This is a quote from the PI article. Like I said it’s an employment act for lawyers

    “Couples would have to share a home, not be married or in a domestic relationship with someone else, and be at least 18.

    Similar to California law, unmarried heterosexual couples would also be eligible for domestic partnerships if one partner were at least 62. “

  10. 14

    rob spews:

    Re: 12. Ok, you have got me there. All the article says is that your roommate can claim to be your heir. I don’t know what the laws are governing social security and domestic partnerships. Therefor it is still an employment act for lawyers.

  11. 15

    Thor spews:

    re: 13
    Rob, how do you figure? DPs would be enacted through a civil registry, not via a lawyer. WHat they might do in CA is irrelevant.

  12. 16

    rob spews:

    Re: 15, You have heard of hetrosexual couples claiming spousal rights, common law marriage etc. I assume.

  13. 17

    Thor spews:

    no lawyers:
    see page 3 of HB 1351, line 3 (available via link I provided above), which says:
    “The state domestic partnership registry is creted within the secretary of state’s office. The secretary of state shall prepare forms entitled “declaration of state registered domestic partnership”….”

    you can read further for yourself, but it is clear that DPs will be enacted at the sec’y of state’s office, not at your lawyer’s office.

  14. 18

    Thor spews:

    re 16, yes, however, WA does not recognize common law marriages (hetero or homo). what is your point?

  15. 19

    rob spews:

    Thor, I have absolutely no problem with same sex marriage. I do have a problem with the democrats only going half way and creating more problems than they are trying to solve. There are centuries of case law regarding marriage. The moonbats in Olympia are getting ready to create centuries of case law regarding domestic partnerships.

    It is an employment act for lawyers.

  16. 20

    Thor spews:

    re 19:
    ah! there i agree with you! this DP and CU crap is, well, crap. to allow gay couples to marry would require changing but a few words in the existing law. but due to bigotry, this whole verbose parallel system is being built, and as you say will create many further legal problems for gays. we should just be inclusive in the civil marriage laws. it would be so much simpler, not to mention just.

  17. 21

    rob spews:

    Re: 18. Washington case law provide for Putative Spousal rights. You seem more legally adept than I do but that Putative Rights refers to someone who believe that acted as though they were married.

    We will have to build more courts and educate more lawyers.

  18. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @119 You sound like a man grasping for straws, rob. You admit you haven’t read the bill. You didn’t realize this bill won’t affect Social Security benefits. You don’t know what Washington law is on common-law marriage. And yet — you claim to know what the impact of this bill will be on the legal profession.

    Well, if that’s a concern, the solution is simple. If you legalize gay marriage, then the existing law and precedents will apply to gay unions, and you won’t end up with a separate body of “domestic partner” law.

  19. 23

    rob spews:

    RE: 22, I did read the bill after thor linked to it. As for your comment

    “If you legalize gay marriage, then the existing law and precedents will apply to gay unions, and you won’t end up with a separate body of “domestic partner” law.”

    Ok I just legalized it. Enjoy.

  20. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The self-identified “people of faith” (as if they’re the only ones who believe in God) have never explained how gay marriage will “hurt” society. I don’t see where decades of gay suppression has helped society. A certain percentage of people are biologically homosexual, and legislation and social policies neither increase nor decrease that number. Yes, I know these so-called “people of faith” believe homosexuality is a learned behavior, not a biological predisposition in the genes, but they’re wrong about that. Let’s call these folks by their right name: They’re Bible-thumping bigots. This is about bigotry, not faith or family. They want a license to discriminate. Society shouldn’t give it to them.

  21. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    23 I don’t believe gay marriage would have any effect whatsoever on my family.

  22. 26

    rob spews:

    RE: 25. See 19. I could care less if gays get married. I would prefer it actually then they could quit whining about not being married and start whining about being married like the rest of us.

  23. 27

    Dave Gibney spews:

    @18, well you’re just wrong. Washington has recognized common law marriage since inception.

    I’m just a little upset at this law because it doesn’t help me or my “spouse”. We’ve been together for 25 years, but for various personal reasons have not married and keep separate residences (one block apart). It wouldn’t have lasted this long if we had tried 24×7 in one residence, but now that there has been illness, I worry about access if things get worse.

  24. 31


    This seems silly. Why not just pass a NOK law? NOK stands for next of kin. Why not just make it legal for each of us to designate one other person .. brother sister, mom dad, wife husband, same sex or no sex?

    Seems simple and utterly unrelated to ANYONE’s feeling about what is and isn’t holy.

  25. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @27 “Washington has recognized common law marriage since inception.”

    Yes and no. A common law marriage cannot be created in Washington, but like other states that do not have common law marriage, Washington will treat a common law marriage created in another state as a valid marriage if it’s a legal marriage in the state where it was created.

  26. 34

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @31 There’s nothing wrong with NOK laws, but why shouldn’t gays be able to marry? Why should the legal status of their relationship be someone else’s business?

  27. 36


    #24 Bunny man is correct. The Talibangelicals have never explained how gay people getting married would hurt other people’s marriages. If they tried, they would be lying (again).

    Let’s change the frame.

    Should ALL Americans have the same exact same rights, or not? Even a person as retarded as the average Republicon could answer that one right.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,”

    Equal is equal, no matter what the bigot preacher says….

    Jesus did not hate gays. Ann Coulter does though……

    Now I know you Nasty Jesus Freaks hate the constitution, but if you want to live in America, you just have to deal with it. You can always move to Hagger-Coulterland if freedom from discrimination isn’t your thing.

  28. 37

    rob spews:

    there is really nothing that I can see that this bill does that a will combined with a living will won’t accomplish since both thor and rabbit assured me that it doesn’t affect social security benefits.

    All this bill does then is create a lawyers employment act.

    If any of you can point out something I am missing then I would be most happy to admit I am wrong.

  29. 38

    rob spews:

    RE: 36.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,”

    Could you explain that slave thing that the founders agreed to again, you know the one.

    The 3/5’s Compromise enabled more masters to become lawmakers, even though the 3/5’s of the slave population counted, had no vote or voice in the democracy.
    The Slave Trade Compromise stopped slave imports after 1807 encouraging slave breeding within the United States and slave auctions throughout the south.

    Quoting the constitution is a tricky thing for amateurs

  30. 39

    Thor spews:

    re 37

    what are you missing? the power of observation and reason, perhaps? reading comprehension? i’ve been patient and layed out all the facts. you prefer to avoid them. ciao.

  31. 41

    rob spews:

    Re: 39, Snarky liberal comments don’t equal facts. Since you don’t have any to refute my comments about a living will and a will I will take it that I am right.

  32. 42

    rob spews:

    40, yes it has been amended I missed the part on gay marriage though. If you want to amend it to include that then go right ahead.

  33. 43

    rob spews:

    RE: 39, of course a will and a living will would cause someone to take just a little bit of self responsibility and we know that liberals would prefer the government take on that 3 or 4 hour task for them.

  34. 44

    Thor spews:

    re: rob’s posts

    keep ‘em comin! i love to watch a troll at work. you’re not the best i’ve seen, but you are kinda cute. /reaching for popcorn/

  35. 45

    rob spews:

    RE: 44, I was waiting for some type of intelligent response to my will/living will question. I forgot I was at a liberal website though, my bad.

  36. 46

    rob spews:

    RE: 44, I am not a troll though thor, nobody pays me for this. I just do it for entertainment.

  37. 47

    rob spews:

    Thor, since your brain has become void of facts and full of popcorn I am going to bed. You have become just another liberal hack without a counter argument and I would rather watch the news or paint dry than watch you eat popcorn.

    Have a good evening and get a living will for you and your partner.

  38. 48

    Thor spews:

    OK Rob, I will relent. I’m out of popcorn anyway.

    What does this legislation do? As far as I can see, 2 main things:
    1) makes the little bundle of contracts (pwr of atty, etc) available for a few bucks (vs. you know how expensive lawyers are).
    2) in theory, makes it more likely that the documents will be honored. why is this important? gay couples who have health care proxies and powers of attorney for each other have frequently had those docs ignored by hospitals during emergency situations. imagine, your loved one is in a car wreck and in emergency room, and some snotty nurse wont allow you in to see her or make critical decisions on her heath care because she is a) a bigot, b) not a laywer and so can;t judge the veracity of your docs, or c) both a & b. your only recorse is to see a judge, when you relly need to be with your loved one, who may die. this happened just recently here in seattle during that flood last december. a woman was trapped i her flooded basement. rescuers got her out still alive. her spouse was not allowed to be with her in the hospital, and the woman dies alone, without her life partner at her side. all because the hospital refused to honor their legal paper work. in theory, having these agreements sealed by the state in the form of a DP will give them more weight, less likelihood of being refused.

    i say theoretical, because although i think the state stamp on teh DP will help, expereince in other states proves that only a marriage is universally recognized. when DPed couples leave WA on vacation, that DP paper is worthless. but while in WA, it is better than nothing, and better than what is available now.

  39. 49

    celisea spews:

    some practical folks here in the gay community now – and interesting unity actually – we WILL take what we can get

    And the Dems. will deliver something – no more 30 year waits

    and we all know the road to marriage will be decades, not withstanding some slop put out by leader head line grabbers

    gay marriage is a concept of social justice that America is hardly ready for

    the why nots are seemingly complicated, some line even gay friendly folk have drawn – but the kids in hight school now could give the Goldy flying fuck – generational differences are vast – so in theory change will come with time and the maturation of a new generation – lets hope

    now if I can find some pretty thing hottie to marry – here we come Vancouver BC – with a honeymoon at Baniff/Lake Louise, Wow, wish me luck Thor, you nice fag

  40. 51

    Puddybud spews:


    GBS already conceded the Gay point to the Bible. In Leviticus God told Moses when two men together or two women together are in a sexual relationship it is an abomination and are to be put of out the camp and dealt with with prejudice. Jesus told his disciples in the New Testament “I and My Father are One”. Therefore Jesus does indeed have a position on gay acts. Paul reiterated natural use of men and women in Romans 1:21-thru the end of the chapter.

    So Factless, Jesus loves the sinner but hates the sin and supports His Father’s position in the Old Testament. If you knew your Bible you could quoteth from the Good Book.

    What happens behind closed doors is not my business. But when you flaunt it in parades, or in your face attitudes that’s another!

    Factless: Stay a ‘Tard. It does you good!

  41. 52

    Puddybud spews:

    Rob: My ancestors were only 60% a person without suffrage. I want my compensation from the ‘tards on this board for my ancestors humiliation by ‘tards in the south.

    Pay up ‘tards.

  42. 53

    headless lucy spews:

    re 38: rob: And White Southerners to this day feel they are entitled to more power and representation than their numbers warrent.

    Like the confederate flag, it’s just part of their”culture”.

    Yeah, like a swastika is part ofr German culture.

  43. 54

    headless lucy spews:

    re 51: You are an idiot, PudWax.

    At the recent conclave of Conservative Retards there were many young White Wingnuts sporting Confederate Flag pins on their lapels.

    Do you wear one? You should. It’s just in memory of the special “culture” of the South:

    Bible thumpin’, Authoritarian, slaveholding, and militaristic.

  44. 55


    Puddybud said:

    “What happens behind closed doors is not my business. But when you flaunt it in parades, or in your face attitudes that’s another!”

    An interesting point, Puddybud, however, the domestic partnership law has nothing to do with parades.

    I will go further. I find most gay pride parades to be rather tasteless, vulgar exhibitions. Of course, I have the same opinion of the Mardi Gras parades where women flash their breasts to get strings of beads, and men wear costumes that, shall we say “enhance” portions of their anatomies.

    Tasteless shouldn’t mean illegal, and neither gay pride, nor Mardi Gras parades are at issue here. As I find the parades to be tasteless and vulgar, I have a simple option. I don’t go there. Those events are rare enough, and localized enough that this isn’t a problem.

    Some opponents to the domestic partnership laws are making the claim that this is just the first step towards recognition of gay marriage.

    They’re probably right.

    When folks see that domestic partnerships do not cause the downfall of western civilization, and that life goes on pretty much the way it did before, many will start to wonder what all the fuss was about.

    My own denomination is rather conflicted about this topic, but one area we do agree on is that gays should get the same protection under the law as anyone else. The government-recognized civil contract that is called “marriage” grants certain rights and privileges that should not be denied to any adults.

    Like most churches, we see Marriage as being something far more than that civil contract, but we also acknowledge that many heterosexual marriages do not include that additional component, and it is irrelevant to the question of legal equity.

  45. 56

    Tlazolteotl spews:


    The Bible mentions slavery too in an approving way. But the facts are that we live in post-Enlightenment, not in the 14th Century as the Taliban and the fundies here at home would have it.

    If you hate the Enlightenment so much, perhaps you would prefer to live under a king and give up antibiotics too?

  46. 57

    eponymous coward spews:

    I’m sure Puddybud takes ALL of Leviticus seriously, including the parts about not wearing cotton-polyester blends.

  47. 58

    namerequired spews:

    Hatfield had some sort of religious awakening while still in the House and then went to work for Brad Owen — the Lt. Gov who has a Christian rock band on the side.

    Not a surprise that Hatfield took the vote he did — just a disappointment.

  48. 59

    Puddybud spews:

    Mr Barelli: Never attended a Mardi Gras parade. Never attended a GLA or GLAAD parade.

    My use of the parades is the slippery slope. Once you start you don’t go back up the slope. As soon as this law passes, someone will create the test case and sue. The law suit goes forth and no one will want to go against it.

    BTW we are not conflicted in our feelings. Love the sinner dislike the sin.

    Next exhibit?

    Mr Coward: What does clothes have to do with sexual lifestyle?