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DC Proposed Rulemaking (2008) of Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992


Friday, October 16, 2009
Reference: 
Title 29 Section 8001

The Director of the Department of Health, pursuant to the authority set forth in section 10 of the Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992 (“Act”) (DC Law 9-114; DC Official Code § 32-709), and Mayor's Order 2002-56, dated March 4, 2002, and in accordance with section 3(i) of the Act (DC Official Code § 32-702(i); 56 DCR 4269), hereby gives notice of his intent to adopt the following amendment to Title 29 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) in not less than thirty (30) days from the date of publication of this notice in the DC Register.  The proposed rulemaking would amend section 8001 to establish the initial list of jurisdictions that recognize relationships that are substantially similar to domestic partnerships in the District. 

Pursuant to section 10(b) of the Act, these rules will not become effective before the later of thirty (30) days from the date of publication in the DC Register, forty-five (45) days from the transmittal to the Council, or the date of approval of these rules by Council resolution.

Section 8001 of Title 29 (Public Welfare) (May 1987) of the DCMR is amended by adding new subsections 8001.6 through 8001.10 to read as follows:

8001.6  Persons registered together in a domestic partnership or a similar legally recognized relationship, other than marriage, in a jurisdiction outside the District of Columbia shall also be recognized as domestic partners in the District, provided that their relationship was registered in one of the following jurisdictions:

(a) California (Domestic Partnership under California Family Code § 297 et seq.);

(b) Colorado (Designated Beneficiary Agreement under Colorado Revised Statutes § 15-22-101 et seq.);

(c) Connecticut (Civil Union under Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-38aa et seq.);

(d) Hawaii (Reciprocal Beneficiary under Hawaii Revised Statutes Annotated § 572C-1 et seq.);

(e) Nevada (Domestic Partnership under Senate Bill 283 amending Title 11 of the Nevada Revised Statutes Annotated, effective October 1, 2009);

(f) New Hampshire (Civil Union until January 1, 2010, under New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated § 457:46);

(g) New Jersey (Domestic Partnership under New Jersey Annotated Statutes § 26:8A-1 et seq. and Civil Union New Jersey Annotated Statutes § 37:1-1 et seq.);

(h) Oregon (Domestic Partnership under the Oregon Family Fairness Act, House Bill 2007);

(i) Vermont (Civil Union under Vermont Statutes Annotated § 15-1201 et seq.);

(j) Washington (Domestic Partnership under Annotated Revised Code of Washington § 26.60.010 et seq.); and

(k) Great Britain (Civil Partnership under the Civil Partnership Act, 2004, ch. 33 (Eng.) et seq.) and relationships in other countries recognized as equivalent to United Kingdom Civil Partnerships, except marriage, under Schedule 20 as follows:

(1) Andorra (Unio estable de parella);

(2) Australia (Tasmania) (Significant Relationship);

(3) Belgium (Wettelijke samenwoning or gesetzliches zusammenwohnen);

(4) Canada (Nova Scotia) (Domestic Partnership);

(5) Canada (Quebec) (Union Civile or Civil Union);

(6) Denmark (Registreret Partnerskap);

(7) Finland (Rekisterity parisuhde or registrerad partnerskap)

(8) France (Pacte Civil de Solidarit);

(9) Germany (Lebenspartnerschaft);

(10) Iceland (Staofesta Samvist);

(11) Luxembourg (Partenariat Enregistr or Eingetragene Partnerschaft);

(12) Netherlands (Geregistreerd Partnerschap);

(13) New Zealand (Civil Union);

(14) Norway (Registrert Partnerskap);

(15) Sweden (Registrerat Partnerskap).

  • 8001.7 The Director may periodically certify and de-certify relationships in other jurisdictions that may be recognized as domestic partnerships in the District by publishing a notice of certification or de-certification in the D.C. Register.  Certification or de-certification shall be effective upon publication of the notice.
  • 8001.8 Certification of a jurisdiction shall be based on the similarity of the relationship in that jurisdiction to the rights and responsibilities of marriage under the laws of that jurisdiction.
  • 8001.9 De-certification shall occur when a jurisdiction abolishes the relationship or converts prior registrations to marriage.
  • 8001.10 A person registered in one of the relationships and in one of the jurisdictions listed in § 8001.6 or subsequently certified under § 8001.7 shall be recognized in the District as if the registration had been made originally in the District as a domestic partnership.  Registration in one of the relationships and one of the jurisdictions shall not require further registration in the District.

All persons wishing to comment on the proposed rulemaking shall submit written comments no later than thirty (30) days after the date of publication of this notice in the DC Register, to the Department of Health, Office of the General Counsel, 825 North Capitol Street, N.E., 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20002.  Copies of the proposed rules may be obtained between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, at the address listed above.