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Washington Domestic Partner Bill Under Attack Before It's Signed

Larry Stickney, President of the Washington Values Alliance, yesterday filed a referendum intended to send Washington's recently passed "everything but marriage" domestic partnership bill to the voters. The bill which provides same-sex partners nearly all of the rights of married couples, is expected to be signed into law shortly by Governor Christine Gregoire.

Stickney The Spokesman Review reports: "On Monday, Stickney filed Referendum 71, which would overturn the law. He and other members of what he described as a broad coalition have until July 25 to gather the more than 120,000 voter signatures needed to get it on the November ballot...Opponents of the changes say that the latest round is de facto same-sex marriage. 'We consider it marriage,' said Stickney. And even if not, he said, the legislation almost certainly sets up a court challenge that could throw out the state’s ban on gay marriage. Across the country, Stickney said, 'we’re seeing marriage achieved by judicial fiat. And this kind of legislation kind of tees it up for the courts to act.' Stickney was clearly caught off guard to find several reporters waiting for him at the secretary of state’s elections office when he filed the measure Monday afternoon. He would only answer a few questions, saying that more details would come out later in a news release."

Fuiten The Stranger reports that Stickney's allies are leaving him: "Pastor Joe Fuiten, a director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington—the state wing of Focus on the Family—sent an email to his flock yesterday denouncing the referendum. First, Fuiten weighs the benefits of support, including 'making a statement of belief.' Fuiten then enumerates a longer, more cogent list of reasons not to run a referendum." According to The Stranger's Dominic Holden, Fuiten cites several reasons for his denunciation: the referendum would be rejected by voters, the last signature-gathering effort failed, people don't care about taking away gay rights, people don't have the money for the fight, and the group is afraid to look like out-of-touch bigots.

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  1. ANyone - whoever you are - GET as much dirt on this Stcikney guy as you can....Even if u have to follow him around....he look slike a "loose cannon"....he looks like a STRIP club visitor....GET THE DIRT ON THIS DIRTBAG!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | May 6, 2009 10:22:02 AM

  2. Totally off topic:

    Oprah is hosting a program on the boys who committed suicide after being bullied. Oprah's program covered the two recent deaths and that of another boy who was bullied 5 years ago.

    Posted by: noah | May 6, 2009 10:30:13 AM

  3. DO NOT REST! This is serious. These petitioners lie to people to get them to sign their petition. Make sure they don't do that and undermine them at every turn. This cannot go on the ballot.

    Posted by: Bill | May 6, 2009 10:50:29 AM

  4. So there goes the "we support equal rights, but don't use the term marriage" argument.

    Posted by: DD | May 6, 2009 11:35:57 AM

  5. "Pastor Joe Fuiten, a director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington—the state wing of Focus on the Family...(says)the group is afraid to look like out-of-touch bigots." Whuuu? Butcha are, Blanche; butcha are. Geez! Is the Pope catholic?

    Posted by: woodroad34 | May 6, 2009 11:43:48 AM

  6. So the group of out-of-touch bigots is afraid to look like a group of out-of-touch bigots? Maybe they should call themselves a rainbow coalition and hire some actors to play them on TV!

    Posted by: Kevinvt | May 6, 2009 11:59:09 AM

  7. Let them ridicule themselves even further, what do we have to lose? nothing.

    Posted by: Rafael | May 6, 2009 12:08:43 PM

  8. As a Washington resident, and someone who is already registered as "domestic partners" with my partner of 20 years, I appreciate the support of the people commenting here, and the call to oppose the gathering of these signatures. Mr. Stickney may get the signatures he needs because what many people do not realize about Washington is that we are really a state divided. The I-5 corridor where the majority of the population lives is pretty liberal, however, when you get into the rural portions of the state, outside Seattle/Tacoma/Everett metro areas and especially into eastern Washington, the population is pretty conservative, that is where he will concentrate his signature gathering. It is probable that he will get enough signatures to make the ballot, but not likely that the voters will pass it. Having said that, any effort to thwart his attempts are appreciated.

    Posted by: Jay | May 6, 2009 12:45:23 PM

  9. Though I am not a member of the gay community here in Washington, I have long supported gay and lesbian rights in every state in which I've lived. I am proud that Washington residents passed the Domestic Partnership Bill and can only hope that the fight continues until we eventually legalize gay marriage. I don't believe anyone's religious beliefs should be brought into the picture here - after all, we are a country founded on separation of church and state. It doesn't matter that the majority of the U.S. is Christian, we can't let our laws be dictated by religious beliefs, period. Marriage is a legally binding contract between two individuals - it has nothing to do with "a man and a woman" and everything to do with two people who care enough about each other to make that commitment. Anyone is capable of it, not just "straight" people. If churches don't want to offer same-sex marriage in their church, fine, but we should at least make non-demoninational and civil marriages available to gays and lesbians. Keep up the fight!

    Posted by: Lissa Brooks | May 19, 2009 6:50:49 PM

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