Alex Blaze

Washington domestic partnership fight could start soon

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 28, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: ballot initiatives, domestic partnership, November, referendum, vote, Washington

They'll be delaying the DP law in Washington to count signatures for the ballot measure against it:

The signatures for Referendum 71 were turned in to the Washington state secretary of state's office Saturday afternoon. The new expanded domestic partnership law was scheduled to take effect Sunday, but is now delayed until the signatures can be counted.

To qualify for the November ballot, they must have 120,577 valid voter signatures, and election officials have suggested that referendum sponsors turn in about 150,000 as a buffer.

If they have enough signatures, the law will be delayed until the outcome of the election.

Delayed? Are they delaying Prop 8 until the court process is finished? Did they delay it until even the state court process was finished?

Another big surprise from the fight in Washington state:

Sen. Ed Murray, a Seattle Democrat and gay lawmaker who spearheaded the original law, said the state has taken an incremental approach in the domestic partnerships "so we could engage citizens in a conversation and not a cultural war."

"What proponents of Referendum 71 want to do is engage in a cultural war," he said.

Really? There are no compromises with these people? You can't just do civil unions, domestic partnerships, or whatever and they'll be appeased because you didn't go after the word "marriage"? They won't be satisfied until sodomy is recriminalized? Whodathunkit.

This is going to be a real fight up there if they have enough signatures, and it'll be a tough fight as it appears voting will happen in November of this year.


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This pretty much confirms what's always been obvious about the religious right: It's not against gay marriage, but gay everything. This is why gay marriage bans like Prop. 8 are such a serious threat -- the religious right is taking an "incremental" approach as well, clearing one fence after another on the way to their final goal, which is the recriminalization of homosexuality.

It's already a culture war, and I'm one of the casualties in WA state (on SSI for disability due to discrimination). BTW - Thank you tax payers, but I would have prefered an EQUAL chance in life.

I won't be fighting those who are LEGALLY ATTACKING my family with signatures or money. Since THEY are the bullies, I have a right to self-defend myself and my family with any means possible.

I advocate using violence against the property of ALL of those who are working tirelessly to HURT my family. Government is enabling a vote on whether or not I "should be allowed" to see my husband while he is dying in a hospital - any normal man would be driven to get a gun and kill those who tried such evil cruelty against his loved ones.

Yes, all of the "comfortable gays" will cringe at supporting such tactics and will piously denounce it - I guess they have yet to be hurt ENOUGH.

Government is enabling a vote on whether or not I "should be allowed" to see my husband while he is dying in a hospital

I understand your anger, as my partner and I also share a domestic partnership in the state of Washington, but I feel the need to correct this statement as I think even unintentionally spreading misinformation about this issue is damaging to our cause overall. Referendum 71, even if it fails, will not take away our right to see our domestic partners in the hospital. That right was one of the original 11 rights granted by WA DPs when they were first legalized in the state, and it is not one of the rights under attack currently. Referendum 71 seeks to stop the state from implementing the recent expansion of DP rights that the governor signed into law last May--those rights expanded DPs from granting about 40% of the state rights of marriage to 100%, save the name. Hospital visitation rights were not part of this expansion because they had already been established in previous domestic partnership legislation and they will not be affected by this particular referendum one way or another. If Referendum 71 fails, it will prevent us from accessing rights which we currently do not enjoy (but legally should), but not affect the ones we already have.

"Delayed? Are they delaying Prop 8 until the court process is finished? Did they delay it until even the state court process was finished?"

Different processes, Alex. This is a referendum. Prop. 8 was a voter initiative (not a response to action taken by the Legislature).

It's common that if signatures are turned in for a referendum that the act being "referred" be put on hold while signatures are checked.

John

Well the delaying thing is more a matter of, "Different state, different rules". Prop 8 was in California, Referendum 71 is in Washington.

Fully acknowledged, thanks for pointing that out, plus different state.

Still... oh, wait, there is no "still." :)

I wanted to point out something about the WA referendum that is important. While it looks like there is a very good chance that there will not be enough valid signatures to get R-71 on the ballot, just in case it does, WA voters that support fairness and equality should know to vote yes. A yes vote will confirm that the legislature and the governor did the right thing by expanding the DP system. Let's hope that we don't have to campaign for this referendum, but in the meantime, we need to spread the word that, unlike prop 8 in CA, no=hate and yes=fairness in WA.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | July 29, 2009 3:06 PM

"A yes vote will confirm that the legislature and the governor did the right thing by expanding the DP system."

In line with my comments on another current thread, lets HOPE that the folks in our community who detest domestic partnerships/civil unions as evil incarnate, won't take the position that LGBT folks ought to either boycott the referendum or actually vote "NO", in order to show that nothing but marriage is good enough.

I can see it now: "A vote to confirm what the Washington legislature did is a vote for incrementalism and second-class citizenship"!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

But I really think WA state LGBT's are pulling for this one. They're a cool bunch up there.