The challenge to Washington State's five-hour-old marriage equality law will be called Referendum 73, filed this afternoon in Olympia by a phalanx of Christians. "The referendum simply takes the exact language of the bill that the Legislature passed and Gregoire signed, and places it on the ballot," says the Washington Secretary of State's Office. At the side of Evangelical pastors and activists was National Organization for Marriage's Christopher Plante, who had just flown in from Rhode Island, with a vow that marriage opponents would spend a combined $2 million to $6 million.
The referendum was officially filed by Joseph Backholm, director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington (the state affiliate of Focus on the Family). The Secretary of State's office says the new campaign is called Preserve Marriage Washington, which sounds like jam you'd get at a wedding reception.
It will take about three weeks for Referendum 73 to get its ballot title and hit the streets with petitions. Same-sex marriage opponents have until June 6 to gather 120,577 signatures.
Assuming the measure qualifies for the fall ballot, which it almost certainly will, supporters of marriage equality want to APPROVE Referendum 73, thereby upholding Washington's same-sex marriage law.