Some same-sex couples opting out of automatic marriage

by: Graham Johnson Updated:

On Monday, thousands of couples in Washington automatically got married.

The 2012 voter-approved same-sex marriage law included a provision that many switched domestic partnerships to marriages as of June 30.

But not everyone wants to be married.

"We've had some pretty tough talks," said Thomas Harlow.

He and Ronnie Dergo became domestic partners largely so Harlow, who is self-employed, could get benefits. 

But they were not ready to tie the knot.

"We do eventually want to get married and it's good to be in a state where we can get married, but we weren't quite there yet and there weren't any other options," said Harlow.

This spring, the state sent letters to 7,500 couples saying if they're 62 or younger, their domestic partnerships automatically would convert to marriages as of June 30.

Couples were given the option of terminating their domestic partnerships, which about 1,200 have done.

The Secretary of State's office said couples who officially filed in court by Monday with their intent to terminate were not automatically married.

Thomas Harlow believes he is now legally married, and must go through a 90 day period for a divorce. 

"We eventually will get married but it won't on June 30th," Harlow said.