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Thousands of Gay Couples in Washington State Will Soon Be Legally Married — and They Might Not Even Know It


"The way that we've been living, it's pretty much been just a marriage."

FILE -- In This Dec. 9, 2012, file photo, Terry Gilbert, left, kisses his husband Paul Beppler after getting married at Seattle City Hall, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed in the state, in Seattle. Gay weddings made up 17 percent of marriages in Washington this past year, the first year gay marriages were legal in the state. State officials reported Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, more than 7,000 same-sex couples got married between December 6, 2012, and the most recent complete month of data, September 2013. So far, most of the state's same sex marriages, 62 percent, were between two women. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File

Gay and lesbian partners in Washington state will soon find themselves legally married — possibly without even realizing it — as part of a sweeping government decision to automatically convert domestic partnerships into marriages.

The provision, part of the state's 2012 same-sex marriage law, could pose some major problems, particularly for couples who registered as domestic partners but who have since separated, the Seattle Times reported.

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