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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Time Running Out for Bigots

Posted by on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Gay-friendly attorneys are mulling over whether or not to challenge the ballot title for Referendum 71, which seeks to repeal the state domestic-partnership bill, thereby slimming the changes that the anti-gay measure could even qualify for the general election. Here is the language that the state Attorney General’s office proposes would appear on the ballot:


Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].

Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

Should this bill be:

Approved ___
Rejected ___

"There are some good aspects with the way the ballot title is written and there are some things that cause me concern,” says state Senator Ed Murray (D-43), who sponsored the domestic partnership bill. “I will defer to the lawyers as to whether or nor we should legally proceed [with a challenge to the ballot title],” he says.

One problem with the proposed language, as it currently stands, is that it implies the legislation provides all the federal benefits of “marriage.” But, in fact, domestic partnerships would provide only the state-granted rights of marriage.

That issue, "is one that we are considering as a basis for a possible title challenge," says attorney Paul Lawrence.

Opponents have until next Tuesday to challenge the language in Thurston County Superior Court. "Friday the 29th would be the earliest that a hearing would be expected, but June 5 or June 12 would be more likely," says Dave Ammons, spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office. The judge, he says, would likely issue a decision the same day. This would leave the Larry Stickney and others in Protect Marriage Washington as few as 43 days to print petitions and collect the 120,577 required to make the November ballot—a nearly impossible challenge.


Comments (11) RSS

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I'm with Mason - if the attorneys for the equality movement don't file a legal challenge - I'll drive to Olympia and file one myself. Wanna carpool Mason? I can think of a challenge - that part of the bill that deals with benefits doesn't go into effect until 2014. That's an important qualification to "equivalancy" omitted by the ballot title and ballot summary. Besides, not filing a legal challenge gives Larry and Gary about 1-2 more weeks to collect signatures. To give you an idea of how important this could be, the Oregon referendum attempt fell short by only a few hundred signatures. One extra day could have made the difference there. Tim Eyman's R-65 could have qualified for the ballot if he had another two weeks.
Posted by Erick on May 21, 2009 at 6:29 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 12

Or better yet, take their clip board from them, feed them the signatures the have gathered and then beat them with the clip board until their children can't grow anymore.


Let's post their picture and, if possible, personal information somewhere online (Slog?) so that everyone in their community will know to spit in their direction and shun them. Kind of like a sex offenders online registry for bigots.

Lets actually make this debate as personal to them as they pretend gay marriage would be. ('It'll destroy my marriage" and "it'll confuse my kids".)
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on May 21, 2009 at 3:02 PM · Report this
I think if you're approached by a signature gatherer you should engage them in a long pointless debate about the issue. Don't worry about winning, just about the amount of signatures you're preventing them from gathering.
Posted by Jesse on May 21, 2009 at 10:14 AM · Report this
If they can't get enough signatures for the next election, do they get the try again the election after?
Posted by sf gal on May 20, 2009 at 7:41 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 9
so ... if this is the repeal thing, then it should have two Yes boxes:

1. Yes, I am a rational intelligent Washington state patriot and live in the 21st Century; or

2. Yes, I hate America and am an unpatrotic slimeball who wants to live in the 18th Century as a bigot and pretend gays don't have rights.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 20, 2009 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
oh, wait, isn't this that Talibangelist initiative to deny gay marriage.

now I'm confused.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 20, 2009 at 5:06 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
I think it should be called by it's proper title:

The Initiative To Promote Hate Crimes Against Gays And Pretend We Live In The 18th Century And Are Bigots.

And then if you want to do those things you can vote "Yes, I am a bigot and hate the 21st Century and believe the Earth is Flat".
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 20, 2009 at 5:05 PM · Report this
why "expand the rights"? This isn't about "expanding" this is about *equalizing*.

Posted by Mister Elwood on May 20, 2009 at 4:54 PM · Report this
Lurleen 4
@3 Actually, they're not self-appointed, they're appointed by people like me who contribute money to their organizations. No one is stopping you from exercising your right as a citizen. If you do decide to file your own challenge, have you decided yet what will be the basis? I think the one outlined above is excellent, but there are probably additional approaches that are also worth considering.
Posted by Lurleen on May 20, 2009 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Lurleen 2
Time is so depressingly short for these gentlemen to fill their coffers before their supporters realize that it's a total lost cause. If I were Gary 'n Larry, I'd be pounding out the fundraising emails. Oh wait, they have been filling their pockets in this way for months on the promise of a referendum. My bad. Carry on.
Posted by Lurleen on May 20, 2009 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Baconcat 1
Keep this part: except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage but add nor does it confer any of the additional 1,047(sic) federal-level rights of marriage upon same-sex couples unless otherwise mandated or allowed by the federal government, or, alternately, nor does it grant any federal-level rights unless otherwise mandated or allowed by the federal government by executive action or an act of congress.

It's true, succinct and not misleading.

I love the fact, though, that the AG basically obliterated the anti-equality activists' stance by adding the "except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage" part.
Posted by Baconcat on May 20, 2009 at 4:11 PM · Report this

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