Last Gasp

Conservatives Opposed to the Domestic-Partnership Bill Make It Official

In a last-ditch attempt to stop a parade of gay-rights victories, Larry Stickney, president of the Washington Values Alliance (WVA), filed a referendum on May 4 that will attempt to repeal the state's recently passed domestic-partner-ship bill. The referendum requires 120,577 signatures from Washington voters to make the general-election ballot, where it would need majority support to pass.

Public opinion is lined up against Stickney's efforts. A poll released by the University of Washington last October shows that 66 percent of state voters support either full marriage equality or all the rights of marriage for same-sex couples.

The domestic-partnership bill, passed by the legislature in April, is Washington's third. It would extend every state-granted right of marriage, such as the ability to use sick leave to care for a partner and the right to share health-insurance plans, to registered same-sex partners.

WVA ran deceptive television ads about the bill while it was pending in the legislature, claiming it would "redefine marriage" and result in "teaching that gay marriage is normal and healthy in public schools."

It remains unclear which group will be responsible for gathering signatures and raising money for the referendum. Until recently, a group called Faith and Freedom, led by Oregon resident Gary Randall, had been fundraising for the referendum. However, at press time, the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, which oversees campaign and candidate committees, said no PAC was officially registered to fund the measure.

Josh Friedes, a spokesman for Equal Rights Washington, which supported the domestic-partnership bill, says the group plans to "do all the things that one has to do with respect to challenging ballot measures." Among the group's strategies: challenging the ballot title, dissuading voters from signing the petition, and preparing a campaign if the measure makes it on the ballot.

Stickney has not returned calls for comment. recommended


Comments (3) RSS

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And the first thing one does is raise money to mount a winning campaign. So in addition to promising not to sign Referendum 71 Petitions and asking every one you know not to sign, Please make a contribution to the ERW PAC.…

Tomorrow ERW and other groups will launch an online decline to sighn campaign and ofcourse there is already FaceBook page thanks to our Join the Impact allies.

Please remember we do not want this referendum to get on the ballot, but if it does we will need to VOTE YES to retain the domestic partnership law.
Posted by Josh Friedes on May 6, 2009 at 9:10 PM · Report this
we will try to remember
Posted by What Did You Say Again? on May 11, 2009 at 6:56 AM · Report this
"So, I met up with a friend I used to work with who was laid off by ERW [recently]. He was actually XXXXX's direct supervisor until that point, a Field Organizer. We talked for several hours and he just totally went off on ERW top-down organizing style.

Part of his job was to try and organize things with smaller groups around the state. He told me that the problem is that ERW continually fucks people over because they're only really concerned with where the money is coming from, though they put up a front that they want to help the community. As an effect, he said that he'd have people from these different community groups calling him all the time cussing him out because ERW would last minute decide that plans with a certain group weren't profitable, and would just get the order to ditch out on them. He said that it felt like 80% of the groups they would work with would be so angry at them, because they were really only worried about the most profitable 20%: the big donaters.

He also said that he felt bad for the people that worked there because they're massively overworked and underpaid, working on average 60 hours a week, and more during big events. The bosses don't listen to the suggestions of any of the volunteers, but give orders to them based upon the wants of those with the dollars."

Keep on begging for our money, Josh, and not caring what real life queers think.
Posted by Lonnie on May 11, 2009 at 7:22 AM · Report this

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