Washington Governor endorses marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

January 4th, 2012

The State of Washington has been on a slow and steady path towards fully marriage equality for several years.

In 2006, the state Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that its Defense of Marriage Act did not violate the state constitution. However, they also indicated that there is nothing within the constitution which prohibited the state from offering equal protection to all of its citizens. In April 10, 2007, the state began the process of doing just that, by passing a bill authorizing the creation of a registry for parters which granted eleven specific rights. The following year, on March 4, 2008, the legislature beefed up the registry with an additional 170 rights and on May 18, 2009 Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill which finalized the registry evolution by making Registered Partnerships to be the legal equivalent of marriage, with all of its rights, duties, and obligations.

Anti-gay activists countered by activating a clause in the Washington State Constitution which allows bills to be presented to the electorate for approval or veto. They began gathering signatures to place the decision of the legislature up to a public referendum. After a nail-biting verification process, the opponents of partner rights eked out the required 137,689 120,577 valid signatures with only about a thousand 1430 to spare.

This proved to be a Pyhrric victory, however, as on November 3, the voters in the state approved the law by 53% to 47%. This was particularly important because for the first time, “the people” had voted to increase rights, thus dispelling the ‘liberal legislators kowtowing to special interest groups’ meme.

Much of the campaign by those opposed to equality was based on portraying a vote for the enhanced partnerships as being a vote for gay marriage, hoping that such a comparison would result in a rejection of the law. This proved to be a strategy with one significant flaw; when the bill passed with such a significant margin, gay groups were able to then portray the election as a mandate for marriage itself.

However, any hope for full equality has been held up by one roadblock. Governor Gregoire has indicated an unwillingness to sign legislation granting gay couples the same language and process as heterosexual couples, saying that Washington was not yet ready for such a change. And lacking the votes to override a veto, the legislators have recognized the futility of that effort.

Until now. (Spokesman-Review)

Washington must end discrimination against same-sex couples, an emotional Gov. Chris Gregoire said this morning. She urged the Legislature to pass a bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state without requiring churches to perform the service if their religious denomination objects.

We commend Gov. Gregoire on her evolution on this issue and welcome her support.

Brian Murphy (WS)

January 4th, 2012

You said that “(a)fter a nail-biting verification process, the opponents of partner rights eked out the required 137,689 valid signatures with only about a thousand to spare.”

One small correction on the signature numbers. The number of valid signatures that was required for Referendum 71 to get on the ballot was 120,577 and Protect Marriage Washington turned in 137,881 signatures (137,689 was an early approximation) of which just 122,007 were accepted and 15,874 were rejected.

Referendum 71 made it on the ballot by a margin of only 1,430 signatures. Your point stands that this is a very small margin.

Timothy Kincaid

January 5th, 2012

Thanks, Brian. Corrected.

Jay Jonson

January 5th, 2012

Another point about the signatures submitted for Referendum 71: it is likely that many of them were either fraudulently obtained or forged. That is one reason the proponents have fought so hard to prevent the release of the actual documents. (They recently lost.) I hope that someone will follow up now that the signatures are available to the public and initiate action against those who perpetrated the fraud.


January 5th, 2012

There is a bigger scandal about those R71 petitions and it doesn’t have to do with fast-talking or deceitful signature gatherers. The WA Secretary of State has a procedure by which he hires armies of temps to review the petitions. These temps get about 90 minutes of training and invariably produce a high error rate. The Secretary of State’s regular staff then double check the temp’s work, but ONLY the signatures that the temps rejected. The sigs that were erroneously accepted by the temps are not double checked and these continue to count towards certification.

This has the effect of skewing the result in favor of going on the ballot. In most cases, it doesn’t matter b/c the number of sigs is well above the minimum or alternative, clearly insufficient. But in a case like R71 when it was right on the borderline, the Secretary’s procedure almost certainly resulted in a fraudulent certification of R71 for the ballot. It is amazing to me that the WA media didn’t make more of this at the time or since.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.