A referendum that could overturn Washington state's "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law has qualified for the November ballot.Remember: Vote YES to approve rights for gay couples. Vote YES to protect ALL families. MOre info: http://approvereferendum71.org/
The secretary of state's office said Monday that sponsors of Referendum 71 had 121,486 valid petition signatures - enough to put the newly expanded domestic partnership law to a public vote.
A secondary check of rejected signatures was not complete, so the number could increase.
The new law was supposed to take effect on July 26, but was delayed until the signature count was complete. Now, it won't take effect unless it is approved in the Nov. 3 election.
The measure would expand existing domestic partnerships to give gay and lesbian couples all the state-provided benefits that married heterosexual couples have.
Meanwhile, the Times reports that donors cannot be hidden.
Earlier Thursday, the PDC denied a request by Protect Marriage to redact and seal the names, addresses and occupations of donors. Donor information already had been made public, in accordance with state law.Time to take the white hoods off, finally. The state should not hide people who vote against the rights of their fellow citizens from facing their compatriots.
The group had cited threats of violence against supporters and churches in its request.
Larry Stickney, a key organizer behind R-71, told the PDC he's received death threats and hundreds of "vile, obscene, threatening, nasty" e-mails. He said he found someone in his yard a few weeks ago photographing his house.
But the commission said the group had not proved that disclosure of the information would result in "unreasonable hardship" to contributors, and that keeping the names from the public would thwart the purpose of the public-disclosure law: to avoid secrecy in campaigns.
While Protect Marriage did provide the commission with some threatening e-mails and blog postings, it "provided no evidence from or about donors that have demonstrated that they have received threats of violence against their lives or property," or that they were being targeted for boycotts, PDC Assistant Director Doug Ellis said at the hearing.
That ruling applies only to donors to R-71.