A bill recognizing same-sex marriages was signed into law in Washington State on February 13th and that law (PDF) was scheduled to go into effect 90 days later, on June 7th. But a group called Preserve Marriage Washington, which describes itself as “a coalition of pastors, community and faith groups and citizens,” has spent the last three months working to put the brakes on marriage equality. This morning, they’re scheduled to meet with election officials to deliver enough signatures to put Referendum 74 on the November ballot, thus putting civil rights up for a vote.
But Referendum 74 must be approved in November to uphold marriage equality in Washington State. (In other words, voters need to APPROVE Ref 74.)
While only about $43,000 has been raised so far (mainly to gather signatures), same-sex marriage opponents have hinted that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and Focus On The Family have pledged to spend big on this referendum campaign. Back in February, NOM’s Executive Director, Christopher Plante, flew out for the bill signing and predicted that both sides of this campaign would spend $2 to $6 million.
A recent poll found that Washingtonians support marriage equality by a narrow 54%. The state’s voters were also the first to uphold same-sex domestic partnership rights. Washington State is now poised to be the first state to uphold marriage equality… if we can overcome these religious groups and their massive piles of money. If you’re interested in pushing back, please consider donating to Equal Rights Washington, the group working to uphold marriage equality.