OLYMPIA, Wash. - State lawmakers are considering a measure that would make it easier for grandparents and others with a close relationship to a child to secure visitation rights.
The bill, heard in the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, has bipartisan support but faces opposition from social conservatives who view it as an attack on parental rights.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that Washington state's laws allowing visitation rights to third parties when found to be in the child's best interest infringed on the fundamental liberty of parents.
The current law requires parents must be deemed unfit before most third parties can get visitation rights against the parents' will.
House Bill 1506 would allow courts to grant visitation when failing to do so could lead to the child being harmed.