However, a poll released Wednesday by the University of Washington reveals that even if Referendum 71 were to be voted on, it faces an uphill battle. A vote to approve is a vote to approve the "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law; a "NO" vote is to nullify it.
The poll shows that 66% either support same-sex marriage (36.7%) or full domestic partnerships (29.3%), while only 21.7% of those surveyed think there should be no legal recognition of same sex relationships. Since the referendum only deals with domestic partnerships, it is believed that those who support marriage equality will vote to approve Referendum 71.
Surprisingly, even a 53% majority of Republicans support rights for same-sex couples. Not so shocking, most support comes from Democrats at 86%. (See full poll at bottom of the post.)
The authors of the poll do note that this research was completed in a campaign-free environment. Once the debate heats up over the next few weeks, the numbers are almost guaranteed to change.
Though this new poll doesn't look good for those who oppose any rights for LGBT couples, they're still very adamant in their positions.
Since the state public disclosure commission ruled that Referendum 71 donors couldn't keep their names private, The Stranger's "Slog" decided to call up a few and ask, "Why do you hate me?" I don't necessarily agree with the question choice, but the resulting answers were interesting.
Though some answers range from not being educated on what Referendum 71 is really about to the typical religious belief motivation, one 84-year-old man thinks gays are "are major incubators of a lot of the bacteria."
Paul HenryUnfortunately, Paul Henry represents the type of people we'll never be able to reach. Hopefully, the 66% who do support recognition of same-sex couples will come out and vote to approve Referendum 71.
Contribution to R-71: $200
Paul Henry, an 84-year-old Christian in Colville, believes gay people are dirty, violent sodomites. Our crusade to achieve rights on parity with marriage is "a direct challenge to the survivability of society," he says. Why does he hate gay people so much? "I don't hate 'em. Actually, they are the ones overturning police cars. When Harvey Milk was shot, the gay people in San Francisco just went crazy. They smashed in store windows and turned over cars. They tried to light fires," he says. "They are the ones doing the violence. They aren't getting beat up. If you want to look at haters, [the gays] are the haters, not the Christians." He adds, "All Referendum 71 is trying to do is defend ourselves against their political attack. Society doesn't need to give anything to them just because they demand it. It is not a civil-rights issue; it is a health issue." So does he think gay people are gross? "I would say even more than gross. I think they are major incubators of a lot of the bacteria. It is common for homosexuals to have hundreds of different sexual experiences with people—they do fisting, they do water sports, and on and on. There are bacteria that are called 'gay-related syndrome' or something, but it is not healthy. And by using lots of antibiotics against them, the antibiotics are no longer usable because they don't work.
Washington State Poll on Recognition of Same-Sex Couples