March 14, 2012
By Jacob Combs
Yesterday, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee released his decision on the final wording for Referendum 74, the proposed ballot measure to either uphold or overturn Washington’s recently passed marriage equality law. Judge McPhee’s decision, which is final and cannot be appealed, is a victory for marriage advocates because it removes language about the law’s intent to “redefine marriage” and instead opts for more neutral wording. Supporters of the initiative will now have to collect 120,577 signatures by June 6 to qualify it for the November election.
Here is the finalized ballot language for Referendum 74:
The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 concerning marriage for same-sex couples, modified domestic-partnership law, and religious freedom [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].
This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.
Should this bill be
Ballot Measure Summary:
This bill allows same-sex couples to marry, applies marriage laws without regard to gender, and specifies that laws using gender-specific terms like husband and wife include same-sex spouses. After 2014, existing domestic partnerships are converted to marriages, except for seniors. It preserves the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform or recognize any marriage or accommodate wedding ceremonies. The bill does not affect licensing of religious organizations providing adoption, foster-care, or child-placement.