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Washington (State)

Washington gay marriage opponents launch drive to overturn law

Judge rejects 'redefine marriage' in ballot language
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Opponents of same-sex marriage began collecting signatures in Washington state on Wednesday in hopes of blocking the state’s new marriage equality law before it can go into effect this summer, just one day after a Superior Court judge cleared the way for opponents to begin the petition drive.

Judge Thomas McPhee issued his decision Tuesday in Thurston County Superior Court, and ruled that the language for the ballot title and summary of Referendum 74 would not contain the phrase “redefine marriage” if it makes it to the November ballot.

The Olympian reported that the “concise description” of the referendum would read:

“This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.”

The language of the ballot measure summary would be:

This bill allows same-sex couples to marry, applies marriage laws without regard to gender, and specifies that laws using gender-specific terms like husband and wife include same-sex spouses. After 2014, existing domestic partnership are converted to marriages, except for seniors. It preserves the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform or recognize any marriage or accommodate wedding ceremonies. The bill does not affect licensing of religious organizations providing adoption, foster-care, or child-placement.

A vote to approve the referendum would be a vote in favor of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

McPhee’s ruling is considered a win more marriage equality advocates, who opposed the original ballot wording that described the new law as one that “would redefine marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry.”

The group Preserve Marriage Washington, a coalition that opposes same-sex marriage and filed R-74, hopes to collect 120,577 signatures by June 6 to place the ballot measure before voters in November seeking to repeal Washington’s law.

The law allowing same-sex marriage was signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire last month and takes effect June 7, but will be placed on hold pending the outcome of the November vote if Preserve Marriage Washington collects the required number of signatures to quality for the ballot.

Recent polling in Washington shows 50 percent of voters would uphold the marriage equality law, versus 46 percent who would vote to repeal.

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21 more reader comments:

  1. why the hell do people “like” negative posts??? I don’t get it!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:50pm
  2. morons.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:50pm
  3. HERE WE GO AGING!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:51pm
  4. Whoa eugh!!! ;-{P}

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:52pm
  5. when lame goes lamer..

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:53pm
  6. THEY CAN try ALL THEY WANT ..
    KEYWORD: ( lower case ) try ..

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:53pm
  7. :/ Well, that’s… That’s just… I don’t know, I just don’t know how to reply to this link :(

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:55pm
  8. aren’t there starving children in the world to feed, cloth and give homes to? wwjd? hmmm. guess they missed the memos.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:56pm
  9. Sour grapes and tough titties.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:58pm
  10. guess theres nothing better to do than deny human rights!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 10:00pm
  11. People be hating way to much.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 10:02pm
  12. I hope the measure fails. Ultimately though I think it may narrowly succeed. But the tide of time is turning against the opponents of gender justice. Polls demonstrate that Millennials are more compassionate on the issues, this being one of them. The older set will become less politically relevant. Furthermore, older people are in some ways changed by their experiences with younger people. Today’s grandparents have become accepting when they learn the queerness of their grandchildren.

    My heart goes out to Washingtonians in this critical time.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 10:02pm
  13. People ‘like’ a negative post not because they literally like the negative subject matter but because liking something will update you on further developments in the story, comments, etc.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 10:33pm
  14. What’s with the ” except for seniors” bit?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 10:47pm
  15. They keep claiming to “preserve marriage” as if the regulations on marriage should be SO strict. They could accomplish much more by searching for ways to drop the steep divorce rate. One of those is showing that many gay men have married women just to fit in with the sexual mainstream, but their marriages fall apart fast because he’s not attracted to her. They can’t use the Bible because the Bible says a lot of nasty things in the Book of Deuteronomy.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 11:16pm
  16. - When “Like” is the only button option (and even /if/ “Unlike” were enabled), how else are you supposed to signal that something is both abhorrent and deserves people’s attention? Comments made on pages don’t neces. show up to one’s friends outside of realtime, either, unless they go looking for your activity…so either we need a few more more-explicit buttons or a change of what exactly “Like” is assumed to signify.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 11:42pm
  17. This is just ignorance but Owell they can keep trying to block the LOVE but our PRIDE is way to strong to be broken…..all i got’s to say is BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY <3

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 12:15am
  18. Maybe a lot of jerks are gonna sign

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 3:17am
  19. Just don’t get it, these fools have to wake up every morning and just ponder the image of same-sex marriage for them to even be concerned about it. I mean come on I rarely think about heterosexuals marriage much less marriage in general. These people are boring lonely people who have nothing better to do with their time. I am serious, I only think about what is best for me and what I need to do for the day not about someone else. GROW THE F UP PEOPLE!!!

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 7:55am
  20. bummer

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 9:10am
  21. 1st amendment. congress shall enact no laws establishing a religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof. since marriage is a vow taken before God., who but a hypocrite will enact a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof. anti gay marriage laws violate the 1st amendment and are unconstitutional

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 3:38pm