Target: Christine Gregoire, Governor of Washington
Goal: Support same sex marriage by protecting the law that would have made it legal.
An effort is well under way to repeal a Washington law that would legalize gay marriage within the state. Referendum 74 is now poised to appear on the November ballot after receiving 247,331 petition signatures (well over the minimum 120,577 amount) and passing a weeklong verification process this week. The petitions were received just in time to block Senate Bill 6239, a law that would allow same-sex couples to marry, from taking effect last Thursday.
In the past, citizens of Washington have shown their support for same sex marriage: In 2007, domestic partnerships were legalized in Washington with an “everything but marriage” law expanding upon this decision in 2009. And just this year Senate Bill 6239 was approved by the state Legislature and signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire. This new vote stands as a huge obstacle for Washington’s forward momentum.
Already, fraud is being suspected of playing a role in the signature collections—petition sheets containing almost 1,000 votes are currently under investigation by the state. “The secretary of state will have to be vigilant on behalf of Washington voters to ensure the election is transparent and above reproach,” comments campaign advisor Anne Levinson of Washington United for Marriage, a group hoping to protect the gay marriage law. Behind this controversy is the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign, a group partnering with the National Organization for Marriage in order to overturn the law (together these groups sought the necessary signatures).
Supporters of gay marriage, already anticipating the backlash, have begun to raise money in order to back their efforts (as have the opposition). Until the November decision day, both sides are gearing up for the battle that lies ahead of them.
Dear Governor Gregoire,
Despite Washington’s social progress, an obstacle has put a halt on the state’s forward momentum. After Senate Bill 6239 was passed by both the state legislature and yourself, a referendum seeks to overturn its ruling.
Washington, which is no stranger to the issue, has already proven its support for same sex marriage. This past support, however, is under fire with the topic hitting the ballot once again.
At this time, I ask that you stick by your original decision in approving Senate Bill 6239 and supporting same sex marriage.
[Your Name Here]