Opponents of same-sex marriage rights in Washington State (Preserve Marriage Washington) delivered 240,000-plus signatures to the Secretary of State today, all but guaranteeing that Referendum 74 will face voters this fall. Zach Silk, the campaign manager for Washington United For Marriage, issued the following statement:
“For us, there’s no news here. We always knew our opponents would qualify for the ballot, and we know they paid hired canvassers to boost their count. They can spin it however they want, but they clearly wouldn’t have paid out-of-pocket if they thought they could do it on their own.
“Whatever the ﬁnal certiﬁed number is, it doesn’t matter. This campaign is up and running and we know by independent poll numbers released last week that the overwhelming majority of Washingtonians do not want to overturn this law of fundamental fairness for all families.
“That’s why we’ll continue to build on the broad and diverse campaign we’ve created. We are energized by the families who know that only marriage fully protects their children, by the parents who want all of their children to be able to marry the person they love, and by loving gay and lesbian couples who simply want to make that lifetime commitment to one another. Those are the values of the vast majority of people in this state and that’s why we believe we’ll ultimately win in November.”
Washington United for Marriage is a coalition of organizations, congregations, unions, and business associations working together to secure civil marriage for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples.
In addition, Washington State Sen. Ed Murray said:
“Today’s announcement that anti-marriage forces have apparently turned in sufficient signatures to qualify Referendum 74 for the ballot is a disappointing, though not unexpected, development.
“Joined by so many others, gay and straight, I have fought for years to ensure that the promise of equal treatment under the law extends to all Washington State families, including gay and lesbian families. For me, this is more than an issue of policy. It is personal. For the last 20 years, I have been in a committed relationship with my partner, Michael Shiosaki. When our state’s historic marriage equality law goes into effect, Michael and I will finally be able marry, just like any other couple.
“That all loving couples, whether gay or straight, will now have the opportunity to marry is a good thing, both for the institution of marriage and for our society more generally. Make no mistake: it is truly a setback for families, for all families, that a minority among us is trying to divide our state by restricting the ability of gay and lesbian couples in loving relationships to marry and start a family.
“But I do not believe their effort will succeed. I am confident that Washington voters will come together this November to reject the politics of division by voting to approve Referendum 74, thus upholding our marriage equality law. Together, we will win this vote in November, proving that we are one state and one people, and that we want all families to be treated fairly and equally.”
Preserve Marriage Washington posted the following image and wording on their website:
Defend marriage equality in Washington State by learning more about the APPROVE Referendum 74 campaign here: Washington United for Marriage.