Thursday, September 10, 2009

Judge Rules Referendum 71 Will Go to Ballot; Petition Signatures to Remain Private

UPDATE: Washington Families Standing Together will NOT appeal the judge's ruling, allowing Referendum 71 to go to the ballot.

A spokeswoman for the group said they will now focus on the campaign to protect the new "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law.


On Tuesday a Washington state judge refused to block anti-LGBT Referendum 71, ruling against the Washington Families Standing Together (WAFST), who oppose it. WAFST had contended that many of the signatures should have been invalidated by the Secretary of State, a conclusion an earlier judge had agreed with but would not rule to invalidate the ballot measure.

However, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee ruled the signatures were valid for acceptance even if the person who signed was not a registered voter at the time of signing, and even if the signature gatherer broke the law.

An appeal to the state's Supreme Court is likely to take place very soon. The ballots for the November 3 election need to be printed within the next few days.

(Read a post by Lurleen at Pam's House Blend, "Washington's referendum process begs reform.")

Earlier in the week, a judge decided to keep petitioners who supported Referendum 71 and their identities private for a few more days while deciding on a case submitted by Referendum 71 proponents, Protect Marriage Washington, who seek to keep the identities permanently hidden from public view. They believe petition signers could be submitted to harassment. State attorneys defending Secretary of State Sam Reed say the harassment threats are far too weak to risk violating the state's public disclosure law.

The Seattle Times also reports that Washington State's senior citizens have all been lost in the debate over Referendum 71. The law allows heterosexual couples to enter domestic partnerships if one of them is over 62, an aspect of which very few people are aware of.

"I think people may not be very well-educated about the full scope of the law, that it affects more than just same-sex couples," Lynn Elmore, who is in her 60s and in a domestic partnership, told the Seattle Times. "They may not consider what it means to people like us."

An APPROVAL vote for Referendum 71 approves the expanded, all-inclusive domestic partnership law. VOTE TO APPROVE!


  1. It is very sad what has happened in Washington State. The Secretary of State has abused his discretion and, in effect, abetted fraud. They simply ignored the law that requires signature gatherers to attest that the signatures have been gathered without deceit or fraud; they have ignored the law that says people who sign a petition more than once are subject to prosecution; they have ignored the law that says that a voter must be registered to vote before signing a petition; they refused to double-check accepted signatures, while checking rejected signatures three times. It is scandalous that a judge has ruled that all this chicanery doesn't matter.

  2. It's all out WAR at this point. My ability to be "nice" was lost years ago, along with my ability to see those with "different views" as anything but the enemy when they are allowed the chance to VOTE harm and suffering into my life.