Referendum 71 asks voters to either approve or reject the state’s so-called “everything but marriage” law that was passed earlier this year. The bill laws gives additional spousal rights and benefits to domestic partners, including same-sex couples and unmarried senior heterosexual couples, in various areas of state law.
n The right to use sick leave to care for a domestic partner.
n The right to wages and benefits when a domestic partner is injured, and to unpaid wages upon the death of a domestic partner.
n The right to unemployment and disability insurance benefits.
n The right to workers’ compensation coverage.
n Insurance rights, including rights under group policies, policy rights after the death of a domestic partner, conversion rights and continuing coverage rights.
n Rights related to adoption, child custody and child support.
n Business succession rights.
The current domestic partnership law already addresses:
n Some public assistance provisions, such as access to state-funded domestic violence shelters.
n Rights and obligations for public officials’ domestic partners to file public disclosure reports.
n Probate and trust laws.
n Guardianship and power of attorney issues.
n Judicial process and victim rights, including testimonial privileges that allow domestic partners the right to refuse to testify against each other in court.
n Dissolution, parenting plans and child support laws.
n Community property and other property rights and responsibilities.
n Homestead exemption laws.
n Health care facility visitation rights.
n Ability to grant consent for health care for a partner who is not competent. Health care providers can disclose patient information to the patient’s partner.
n Title and rights to cemetery plots and rights of interment.
n Right to control disposition of a deceased partner’s remains, including right to make anatomical gifts, authorize autopsies and consent to remove partner’s remains from a cemetery plot.
n Inheritance rights when the domestic partner dies without a will.
n Administration of an estate if the domestic partner dies without a will or if the named representative declines or is unable to serve.
n Making domestic partners beneficiaries of wrongful-death actions. Lawsuits for wrongful death could be brought on behalf of a surviving domestic partner.
n Requiring that information recorded on death certificates include domestic partnership status.