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LGBT Rights in Washington State

    Homosexuality
    ✔ Legal
    Gay Marriage
    ✔ Legal
    Censorship
    ✔ No censorship
    Changing Gender
    ✔ Legal, surgery not required
    Non-binary gender recognition
    ✔ Recognized
    Discrimination
    ✔ Illegal
    Employment Discrimination
    ✔ Sexual orientation and gender identity
    Housing Discrimination
    ✔ Sexual orientation and gender identity
    Adoption
    ✔ Legal
    Military
    ✔ Legal
    Donating Blood
    ✖ Banned (3-month deferral)
    Conversion Therapy
    ✔ Banned
    Age of Consent
    ✔ Equal
Suggest Public Opinion Data

Public Opinion

Support for LGBT protections by US state ?

Ranked #1 out of 50 regions surveyed. (Source: PRRI, 2018)
 
Favor (75%)

Opposition of religiously based refusals to serve gay and lesbian people ?

Ranked #1 out of 50 regions surveyed. (Source: PRRI, 2018)
 
Oppose (57%)

Support of same-sex marriage by US state ?

Ranked #10 out of 51 regions surveyed. (Source: Pew Research, 2014)
(31%) Oppose
Favor (61%)

Support of homosexuality by US state ?

Ranked #12 out of 51 regions surveyed. (Source: Pew Research, 2014)
(27%) Oppose
Support (69%)

History

Homosexual activity in Washington

?

Homosexual activity in Washington is legal.

Current status
Since Jul 1, 1976
Legal
WASHINGTON LAWS, 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.92.010

Item 209 repealed Washington's Sodomy Laws:
(a) Section 2. chapter 139, Laws of 1893
(b) Section 204, chapter 249, Laws of 1909
(c) Section 3, chapter 74, Laws of 1937
(d) RCW 9.79.100 Sodomy - Penalties.

Item 226 repealed Washington's Vagrancy Laws:
(a) Section 1, page 85, Laws of 1875,
(b) Section 1271, Code of 1881
(c) Section 436, chapter 249, Laws of 1909
(d) Section 1, chapter 11, Laws of 1965
(e) Section 29, chapter 122 Laws of 1972 ex. sess.
(f) RCW 9.87.010 Vagrancy.

The U.S. Supreme Court further secured these protections when it ruled in LAWRENCE ET Al. v. TEXAS on June 26, 2003, that any law "making it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct violates the Due Process Clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Sources:
1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.92.010
leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/docu…

LAWRENCE V. TEXAS (02-102) 539 U.S. 558 (2003)
lambdalegal.org/in-court/le…

RCW 9.79.100 Sodomy - Penalties.
app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/dispo.as…

RCW 9.87.010 Vagrancy.
app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/dispo.as…

Painter, George. History of Sodomy Laws in the United States.
glapn.org/sodomylaws/sensib…
Added by tsusamu  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Jan 29, 1909–Jul 1, 1976
Illegal (imprisonment as punishment)
Laws of Washington 1909 c 249 § 204 amended the state's sodomy law to include oral sex, added a clause to specifically criminalize voluntarily submitting to 'carnal knowledge', and lowered the penalty to "imprisonment in the state penitentiary for not more than ten years".
Sources:
Laws of Washington 1909 c 249 § 204
leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/docu…

RCW 9.79.100 Sodomy - Penalties.
app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/dispo.as…


Painter, George. History of Sodomy Laws in the United States.
glapn.org/sodomylaws/sensib…
Added by imullin01  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Mar 14, 1893–Jan 29, 1909
Illegal (imprisonment as punishment)
Responding to STATE v. PLACE, the Washington State Legislature adopted the common law definition of "crimes against nature" and established a penalty of "imprisonment at hard labor in the state penitentiary for not less than ten nor more than fourteen years" upon conviction of sodomy.
Sources:
Laws of Washington 1893 c 139 § 2
leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/docu…

RCW 9.79.100 Sodomy - Penalties.
app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/dispo.as…

STATE v. PLACE, 5 Wash. 773; 32 P. 736 (1893) courts.mrsc.org/washreports…

Painter, George. History of Sodomy Laws in the United States.
glapn.org/sodomylaws/sensib…
Added by JerofDoorhandle  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Mar 2, 1853–Mar 14, 1893
Ambiguous
Section 12 of the Organic Act, which established the Territorial Government of Washington, adopted the laws of the Territory of Oregon applicable to the Territory of Washington as of March 2, 1853, which did not include any reference to sodomy.

The Laws of the Territory of Washington 1875 p 85 § 1 included a vagrancy statute with a catch all definition of "disorderly persons" but did not single out homosexual activity and any arrest was set to only last so far as surety of good behavior could be ascertained.

The Code of Washington 1881, enacted on December 1, 1881, p 159 § 782 stated "All offenses at common law, which are not hereinafter defined by statute are indictable and triable in the district courts of this territory." Thus it was possible to be indicted for 'crimes against nature' however p 162 § 806 criminalized "an assault with an intent to commit the infamous crime against nature" but did NOT criminalize the 'infamous crime against nature'. As such no punishment could be attached to an indictment for homosexual activity except in the case of an assault. This is the precedent that was described in Justice Stiles's opinion in STATE v. PLACE.

On February 18, 1893, in STATE v. PLACE, 5 Wash. 773; 32 P. 736 (1893) the Washington Supreme Court noted the Washington State Penal Code did "not define the crime against nature known as sodomy, nor impose a penalty for its commission.” The crime against nature punishable as a felony at common law was not punishable in the state because no penalty has been fixed by statute.
Sources:
10 U.S. Statutes at Large, c 90 p 172 § 12
leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/RCWA…

Laws of the Territory of Washington 1875 p 85 § 1
leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/docu…

Code of Washington containing all acts of a general nature. 1881 p 159 § 782; 1881 p 162 § 806
catalog.hathitrust.org/Reco…

STATE v. PLACE, 5 Wash. 773; 32 P. 736 (1893) courts.mrsc.org/washreports…

RCW 9.87.010 Vagrancy.
app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/dispo.as…

Painter, George. History of Sodomy Laws in the United States.
glapn.org/sodomylaws/sensib…
Added by JerofDoorhandle  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Same-sex marriage in Washington

?

Same-sex marriage in Washington is legal.

Current status
Since Dec 6, 2012
Legal
SB 6239 - 2011-12 amended RCW 26.04.010 to legalize same-sex marriage by replacing gendered terms with gender-neutral language. The law, meant to take effect on June 7, 2012, was delayed by Referendum 74 which put the issue to voters who affirmed the legislation. The law went into effect on December 6, 2012.

Same-sex marriage was further protected by the US Supreme Court in OBERGEFELL v. HODGES on June 26, 2015, under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The 117th US Congress legislated additional protections in H.R.8404, the Respect for Marriage Act, on December 13, 2022, mandating all states recognize any public act, record, or judicial proceeding pertaining to marriage in any other state; enforceable by the Attorney General and subject to injunctive and declaratory relief.
Added by Otterpop0217  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Censorship of LGBT Issues in Washington

?

Censorship of LGBT Issues in Washington is no censorship.

Current status
No censorship
Washington has some anti-discrimination policies and no active censorship measures.
Added by JerofDoorhandle  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Right to change legal gender in Washington

?

Right to change legal gender in Washington is legal, surgery not required.

Current status
Since Sep 12, 2017
Legal, surgery not required
No Requirements.
Parent/Guardians must apply on behalf of minors.
Added by Ausyk  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Legal recognition of non-binary gender in Washington

?

Legal recognition of non-binary gender in Washington is recognized.

Current status
Since Jan 27, 2018
Recognized
WAC 246-490-075 includes the legal gender marking "X" as a gender that is not exclusively male or female, including, but not limited to, intersex, agender, amalgagender, androgynous, bigender, demigender, female-to-male, genderfluid, genderqueer, male-to-female, neutrois, nonbinary, pangender, third sex, transgender, transsexual, Two Spirit, and unspecified.
Added by JerofDoorhandle  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

LGBT discrimination in Washington

?

LGBT discrimination in Washington is illegal.

Current status
Since Jun 8, 2006
Illegal
Covers sexual orientation and gender identity in regard to employment, housing, and public accomodations
Added by yinzer  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

LGBT employment discrimination in Washington

?

LGBT employment discrimination in Washington is sexual orientation and gender identity.

Current status
Since Jun 8, 2006
Sexual orientation and gender identity
State law provides for protections against employment discrimination in regards to both sexual orientation and gender identification.
Added by yinzer  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

LGBT housing discrimination in Washington

?

LGBT housing discrimination in Washington is sexual orientation and gender identity.

Current status
Since Jun 8, 2006
Sexual orientation and gender identity
This state explicitly bans housing discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identification.

Additionally, the Human Rights Campaign states, "The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires grantees and participants of HUD programs to comply with local and state non-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity.
HUD also prohibits inquiries regarding the sexual orientation or gender identity of a prospective tenant or applicant for assisted
housing in every state (March 2012)."
Added by yinzer  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Same-sex adoption in Washington

?

Same-sex adoption in Washington is legal.

Current status
Since Feb 1, 2013
Legal
A same sex couple can adopt through the agency they're adopting their child at or through an independent adoption.
Added by Otterpop0217  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Until Feb 1, 2013
Single only
Not a crime but adoption centers would not let gay couples to adopt.
Added by Ausyk  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Serving openly in military in Washington

?

Serving openly in military in Washington is legal.

Current status
Since Sep 20, 2011
Legal
Don't Ask, Don't Tell is officially repealed throughout the United States, and gays and lesbians may openly serve.
Added by imullin01  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Blood donations by MSMs in Washington

?

Blood donations by MSMs in Washington is banned (3-month deferral).

Current status
Since Apr 2, 2020
Banned (3-month deferral)
Blood donation centers in Washington follow the new FDA 3-month deferral guidance.
Added by JerofDoorhandle  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Dec 21, 2015–Apr 2, 2020
Banned (1-year deferral)
Blood donation centers followed the non-binding FDA one year deferral guidance.
Added by JerofDoorhandle  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

1983–Dec 21, 2015
Banned (indefinite deferral)
Ban on blood donations from MSMs applied to any man who has had sex, even once, with another man after 1976.
Added by imullin01  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Conversion therapy in Washington

?

Conversion therapy in Washington is banned.

Current status
Since Jun 7, 2018
Banned
SB 5722 - 2017-18 amended RCW 18.130.020 to define conversion therapy and RCW 18.130.180 to discipline licensed health care providers that perform conversion therapy on any patient under the age of eighteen.

The ban does not apply to religious practices unless they are performed by licensed health care providers.

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the bill's constitutionality in TINGLEY V. ROBERT FERGUSON, ET AL, No. 21-35815
Added by Ausyk  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Until Jun 7, 2018
Ambiguous
Conversion Therapy is currently legal. No law currently bans it, despite organizations such as the American Psychological Association denouncing it. Though it's not actually ambiguous (It is in fact legal), this is the best indicator of the available options. An attempt to ban conversion therapy passed overwhelmingly in the State House in 2014, but the bill died in Senate Committee.
Added by robertshippey  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log

Equal age of consent in Washington

?

Equal age of consent in Washington is equal.

Current status
Since Jul 1, 1979
Equal
Age of consent is governed by RCW 9A.44 and is equal, regardless of gender or orientation.
Sources:
doh.wa.gov/you-and-your-fam…

Washington Laws:
app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.…
RCW 9A.44.093
RCW 9A.44.096
RCW 9A.44.089
RCW 9A.44.079
Added by Otterpop0217  ·  0 accurate votes  ·  Report Error  ·  Log