Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for September, 2012

Referendum 74 draws record number of financial supporters

Timothy Kincaid

September 5th, 2012

Supporters of Referendum 74 have now raised 7.3 million dollars to help keep Washington’s marriage law inclusive. And while this is an amazing number, I’m even more impressed by a different statistic:

WUM now has 13,866 individual contributors, believed to be the largest number of donors in any Washington state ballot campaign. According to the Public Disclosure Commission’s online records dating from 2000, only 2008’s I-1000 came close, with approximately 9,500 contributors.

And those are not out-of-state voters.

The average median gift in August was $50, with 84 percent of those donations coming from Washington state. Additionally, those 5,000-plus new contributors in August constitute a 47% increase over the 8,900 individuals who had donated to the campaign by the end of July.

Our opponents like to see these contributions in terms of their worldview: a handful of very wealthy out-of-state homosexuals and their ultra-liberal friends are coming in to try and force their views on the citizens.

But when more average hard-working Washingtonians than ever before contribute $50 because they believe in the rightness of equality, something kinda phenomenal is going on. Something very cool. Something I don’t think our opponents are prepared for.

Washington’s Ref 74 soon to be a reality

Timothy Kincaid

May 31st, 2012

Those who are gathering signatures for R-74, a referendum on Washington’s November ballot putting that state’s marriage law up to confirmation from the voters, are predicting that they will turn in sufficient ballots to ensure qualification on next Tuesday. They will need 120,577 valid signatures, have about 150,000 from volunteers and project that when paid signatures are added in the total will exceed 200,000.

Three years ago, a sister referendum putting domestic partnership expansions before the voters (Ref 71) had so few surplus signatures that there was a strong suspicion that it would not qualify. After over a week of counting and comparing to voter rolls, there was a margin of only a few thousand valid signatures. This time around, absent a shockingly low validation rate, the referendum is assured to go before voters.

The good news is that a Strategies 360 poll for the Associated Press found strong support for legal marriage among likely voters.

Do you think it should be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian couples to get married?

54% – legal
33% – illegal
4% – depends
8% – “Elvis is living in my basement”

The poll has a margin of error of 4.4% and appears to have valid methodology and does not seem to have any leading questions. While this question does not specifically ask about intent to vote on Referendum 74, it is very encouraging.

Support comes from 87% of Democrats, 52% of Independents, and 22% of Republicans. And a strong majority of support comes from King County and North Puget Sound while West Washington polled at 50% to 37% and East Washington eked out a plurality of 44% to 41%. Age trended predictably with only those over 65 failing to produce a majority (44% to 40%).

The election should have a strong turn-out as while the poll shows support for the reelection of Barack Obama, the gubernatorial race is within the margin of error with Republican Rob McKenna leading. Additionally, questions on the ballot about the legalization of marijuana and college tuition may ensure that younger voters show up at the polls.

NOM may blather on about “31 states” and “the people have always voted no” but we have a very good chance at winning in Washington.