Marriage advocates collect enough signatures for Washington state ballot measure
Washington's Secretary of State Sam Reed
Washington's Secretary of State Sam Reed

.- Preliminary, unofficial figures from the Washington state Elections Division shows that a sufficient number of signatures have been gathered to place on the ballot Referendum 71, a measure that would preserve the unique place of marriage by rescinding the state legislature’s expansion of homosexual domestic partnership benefits.

Protect Marriage Washington, which is sponsoring the proposal, submitted nearly 138,000 signatures on July 25. State checkers of the signatures accepted 121,617 signatures. According to David Ammons, writing on the blog of the Washington Secretary of State’s Office, 120,557 were required to secure a ballot spot.

The ballot proposal, known as Referendum 71, would overturn Senate Bill 5688, which passed the Washington legislature in April. The bill gave homosexual couples all the state-provided benefits that married couples receive.

The law was supposed to take effect July 26 but was delayed until the signature count was completed, the Associated Press says. The law will not take effect unless it is approved in the November 3 election.

In a news release on its website, the Washington State Catholic Conference said it opposed SB 5688 because proponents publicly stated that it was intended to extend existing marriage rights to same-sex couples “as a precursor to legalizing gay marriage in Washington State.”

“While opposing all unjust discrimination against any individual, WSCC upholds marriage as a union between a man and a woman, which is the foundation of our civil society,” the conference said.

The Washington Secretary of State’s Office claims that the margin of confirmed signatures for Referendum 71 may be the narrowest ever to qualify for the ballot. However, the number may rise if new voter registrations and missing electronic voter signatures are found.

Before the number of signatures was confirmed, Protect Marriage Washington had expressed concern about “statistical abnormalities” in the signature count. While the rate of erroneous signatures among the first 72,273 signatures counted stood at about 9.5 percent, among the last 6,922 signatures the error rate jumped to 12.8 percent.

Protect Marriage Washington also noted that Secretary of State Sam Reed’s executive secretary is the daughter of James Pharris, an attorney from the state Attorney General’s office assigned to defend the rights of Referendum 71 opponents.

Some opponents of Referendum 71 intend to adopt a tactic used by pro-homosexual groups in California to shame or boycott supporters of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that successfully defended marriage between a man and a woman. WhoSigned.org plans to publish the names of signatories to the Referendum 71 petitions following the signatures’ certification by the Washington Secretary of State.

Referendum 71 backers charged that the site could be used for retaliation and intimidation, pointing to the harassment that took place in California. A federal district court judge has temporarily blocked the signatures’ release, with a new hearing scheduled for September 3.

Opponents of Referendum 71 have filed a legal challenge to the referendum, which Superior Court Judge Julie Spector has taken under advisement. She said she will rule on the case on Wednesday morning.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »


Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: