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Second anti-gay marriage ballot initiative fails in Washington state

Second anti-gay marriage ballot initiative fails in Washington state

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A ballot initiative seeking to define marriage as between “one man and one woman” in Washington state has fallen short of signatures needed, and won’t qualify for the November ballot.

The initiative — I-1192 — was one of two that opponents of same-sex marriage sought to place on the November ballot, likely in an effort to confuse voters. I-1192 would have asked voters to limit marriage to heterosexual couples only.

The other initiative — Referendum 74 — has qualified for the November ballot, and will ask voters to uphold or reject the state’s recently passed law legalizing same-sex marriage.

The failure of I-1192 clears the field for Referendum 74 to be the lone measure addressing same-sex marriage in the Nov. 6 general election, reported The Olympian.

I-1192 sponsor Stephen Pidgeon of Everett said Monday that his campaign was running far short of the 241,153 valid voter signatures needed before Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

“I hate to say it … but we’re just not going to cross the threshold. We’re not going to make it. This measure is not going to be on the ballot,” Pidgeon said, estimating the I-1192 campaign would be lucky to get 100,000 signatures.

Pidgeon said his team of volunteers had 98,539 signatures and was frustrated along the way by its rivalry with the group collecting signatures to put R-74 on the ballot.

A recent statewide survey by Public Policy Polling found that, for the first time in its Washington polling, a majority of the state’s voters support marriage equality for same-sex couples. According to the poll, 51 percent responded that they think same-sex marriage should be legal, compared to 42 percent opposed.

Also this week, Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and Co-founder Bill Gates each donated $100,000 to the campaign supporting the state’s recently passed law legalizing same-sex marriage.

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