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‘Everything But Marriage’ Referendum a Close Call

August 13th, 2009 by Steven Gardner

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office has been stellar in providing daily updates on the prospects of Referendum 71 having enough valid signatures to be on the November ballot.

As of now it’s too close to call.

The referendum would overturn legislation that extended to same-sex partners all the rights married couples enjoy, except for the right to call their relationship a marriage.

Supporters of the referendum want that law overturned. They gathered 137,689 signatures to get the question on the ballot. They need 120,577 of those to be valid to be up for the November election. That means no more than 12.4 percent of the signatures can be tossed out.

As of Wednesday night the state had counted 48,289 ballots. Of those, 5,142 have been rejected. If you’re scoring at home, that’s 10.6 percent. So far, so good for referendum supporters, meaning those who don’t want gay couples to have the same rights as straight married couples.

The rate of duplicate signatures is expected to rise as the counting continues, so that means a higher percentage of the remaining 89,400 signatures to be counted would be tossed.

The link at the top gives you access to the state’s updates.

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2 Responses to “‘Everything But Marriage’ Referendum a Close Call”

  1. Craig P Says:

    I can’t wait to see the names of the bigots who signed on to this.

  2. Lurleen Says:

    Referendum 71 voters will be asked to approve or reject the domestic partnership law. To preserve the new domestic partnership law, vote APPROVED in November. Sign up with Washington Families Standing Together at to help get the word out.

    Ballot Title
    Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].

    Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

    Should this bill be:

    Approved ___
    Rejected ___

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