Supporters of gay rights hope lead holds; I-1033, Prop. 4 defeated - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Supporters of gay rights hope lead holds; I-1033, Prop. 4 defeated

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Supporters of Washington's new domestic partnerships law are hoping their narrow lead holds as votes continue to be counted.

Elections officials are expected to release additional results Wednesday afternoon. As of Tuesday night, voters were narrowly approving the state's new "everything but marriage" law that marks a significant expansion of rights for gay couples.

With about 50 percent of the expected vote counted, Referendum 71 was leading 51 percent to 49 percent.

The measure asked voters to approve or reject the final expansion to the state's domestic partnership law, which grants registered domestic partners additional state-granted rights currently given only to married couples.

Initiative 1033

With voters soundly defeating Initiative 1033, anti-tax activist Tim Eyman acknowledged Tuesday night that his measure would not win at the polls this year.

The initiative would have capped government revenue growth, and cut property taxes. Any tax hikes would have gone on the ballot.

The opposition campaign declared victory, saying voters have already seen government services cut back because of the recession.

Eyman said Olympia politicians should not take I-1033's defeat as a message that they should raise taxes as 45 percent of voters still agreed with its plan to limit government.

Proposition 4

About three-quarters of voters cast ballots against Proposition 4, which would have amended the Spokane City Charter to include a community 'Bill of Rights.'

Even before the issue made the ballot, Prop. 4 stirred up controversy with supporters on both sides of the issue.

Supporters said the 'Bill of Rights' would have made Spokane healthy, democratic and sustainable - an extension of the City's comprehensive plan passed by the City Council.

Opponents said the proposition was vague and against democracy.

Prop. 4 Response...

>>Envision Spokane response to Prop. 4 defeat

>>Save our Spokane response to Prop. 4 defeat
The group 'Save Our Spokane,' said that all of these proposed rights would have created a nightmare of legal fees for the City tying up courtrooms and diminishing other services to balance out the additional costs.

In a press release issued following the proposition's defeat, the proposition's sponsor, Envision Spokane, blamed out spending by opposition for the proposition's failure:

"In a real life David vs. Goliath campaign the citizen-led group Envision Spokane - the group who drafted the Bill of Rights - and its supporters were up against major corporate powers and out-of-town lobbyists who out spent the proponents 4:1 to convince residents to vote against Proposition 4." - Envision Spokane

The group opposing Prop. 4, 'Save our Spokane,' said voter turn out against the Bill of Rights is a mandate from Spokane residents that an effort to change city laws will not be allowed.

"These election results make clear that the people of Spokane don't want to have a small group of citizens tell them what is best when it comes to the role of government and the way our city should grow." - Save our Spokane 

KHQ will continue to update results throughout the day. Stay with KHQ.com for more information.

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