OLYMPIA, WASH. — Within hours of Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire signing a marriage equality bill into law, opponents on Monday filed the paperwork necessary to collect signatures for a referendum to overturn the law.
Referendum 74 would be a yes or no on gay marriage question if it gets to the ballot. A “yes” vote means the law passes as signed, a “no” vote would overturn it.
“It’s preferable if we understand that marriage is unique and special and it’s not necessarily inclusive of every relationship,” said Christopher Plante with the National Organization for Marriage.
“There are lots of relationships that are very meaningful to people that are not called marriages and that’s OK,” he said.
In a message to supporters, NOM President Brian Brown, confirmed that the NOM “is joining with the Family Policy Institute of Washington, Stand for Marriage Washington, Concerned Women for America and hundreds of other groups, pastors and individuals to take this issue directly to the people in November.”
Referendum 74 sponsors will need to collect 120,577 valid signatures of registered Washington voters by June 6 to secure a place on the ballot.
If that doesn’t happen, the same sex-marriage law would go into effect June 7.
If the measure does qualify for the ballot, the law would effectively be put on hold until the November 6 general election and certification on December 6.
Gregoire on Monday signed into law the measure passed last week by the state legislature that legalizes same-sex marriage, making Washington state the seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry.