Gay Marriage Ref. 74 Ballot Language Approved
A judge's ruling Tuesday clears the way for petitions to be printed and circulated throughout Washington state.
Joseph Backholm: "We are just happy to be done with the legal process and can get on with the actual campaign."
That's Joseph Backholm. He's with the Family Policy Institute of Washington. The group is sponsoring Referendum 74. It aims to repeal a new state law that legalizes same–sex marriage.
At issue in court Tuesday was what voters would read on the November ballot.
Backholm's group wanted to keep wording proposed by the Attorney General's Office — specifically a statement that the new law would "redefine marriage."
Backholm: "Well, that's what it does. The statute says marriage is a civil union between a male and female. And it would be changed to say marriage is a union between two persons. So that is a textbook, definitional change."
The ACLU and other groups rejected the term "redefine marriage," saying it's a sound bite often used by opponents.
Thurston County Judge Thomas McPhee apparently sided with the ACLU. Doug Honig is the group's spokesman.
Honig: "The term 'redefine' is not going to be in there and that was a very misleading term because the law passed by the Legislature doesn't change marriage. It simply extends it to same–sex couples who weren't able to get married in the past."
Honig thinks the language for Referendum 74 is now more fair, accurate and concise.
Same–sex marriage opponents now need to collect more than 120,000 valid signatures by June 6.
If they meet the deadline, the new gay marriage law will be on hold until the outcome of a November vote.
I'm Liz Jones, KUOW News.
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