May 24, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
Preserve Marriage Washington is the group that’s gathering signatures to put marriage equality on the ballot this year (the initiative is Referendum 74), after the bill has already been passed and signed by the governor in Washington. PMW is affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage. They set a goal of 200,000 by May 6:
“I want the headline above the fold that says ‘R-74 gets 200,000 signatures a month early!’. I want to shut up our opponents. …Because our opponents – this is a battle, and our opponents need to be demoralized,” Chris Plante told a group of volunteers in March. Plante is a Rhode Island-based NOM employee sent to Washington to act as Preserve Marriage Washington’s deputy campaign director.
“I’ve been saying, on May 6th I’d love to put out a press release saying, the human part of me says ‘nah-nah-na-na-nah’, we got the signatures,” Plante told volunteers at a similar event in April. “Something to the effect of ‘Washington will not stand for messing with marriage’.”
The deadline for signature gathering is June 6. They have 121,876 signatures according to their website. The group will still qualify for the ballot, since it’s easy to get the required number of signatures (200,000 was just a goal but the actual number needed is quite a lot less) but as Laurel Ramseyer at Pam’s House Blend notes, it’s a really big deal that they won’t reach their goal:
It’s now weeks later and not only has NOM-PMW failed to meet their goal of filing 200,000 signatures on May 6th, but it appears unlikely that they will even have 200,000 signatures to file by the June 6th deadline. If NOM-PMW had any kind of meaningful support in Washington, they should have had no problem accomplishing this fall-back goal.
Once again, the national anti-gay groups will learn that Washington doesn’t have much interest in their attempts to overturn our laws.
Despite the money flowing in and the efforts of national anti-gay groups, there is not a lot of interest in attacking gays and lesbians with a ballot initiative this year.