When HRWC later recommended that the city adopt a domestic partnership policy, (46) it focused on how exclusionary marriage laws specifically injured same-sex couples: "All unmarried opposite-gender couples are able to move voluntarily across the 'marriage barrier,'" but "[a]ll same-gender couples are unable to move across the 'marriage barrier'--forever and regardless of their will." (47) In this way, HRWC framed a domestic partnership policy that would ultimately cover both same-sex and different-sex couples primarily as an equality measure for same-sex couples.
In staking out the equal status of same-sex couples (ineligible to marry) with respect to different-sex couples (eligible to marry), HRWC urged a domestic partnership regime that "approximate[d] the current marriage criterion." (49) Domestic partnership, it recommended, should be defined to include two people "not related by blood closer than would bar marriage" who "reside together and share the common necessities of life" and are "responsible for [each other's] common welfare." (50) This policy mirrored the earlier San Francisco proposal, which defined domestic partners as "[t]wo individuals":