Preserve Marriage Washington Concedes Likely Approval of Referendum 74; Gregoire Reacts
KHQ.COM - The group that backs keeping marriage sacred between a man and a woman in Washington state has conceded.
SEATTLE, Wash. - Joseph Backholm, Chairman of Preserve Marriage Washington, released the following statement today:
"With added results showing that we have not closed the gap, it now appears clear that Referendum 74 will be narrowly approved.
We are disappointed in losing a tough election battle on marriage by a narrow margin. But while we are disappointed, we are not defeated. We are fighting for a cause that is true, and beautiful, and right—the sacred institution of marriage. It's a cause worth fighting for, and we will continue to educate citizens and policymakers on the timeless truth that real marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
We knew this was not going to be an easy fight. Washington is a deep blue state and one of the most secular states in the country. Washington has a very high percentage of voters who never attend church, and polling showed that 80 percent of unchurched voters approved of Referendum 74. On top of that, our opponents had a giant financial advantage, outspending us by $10 million, so the odds became even more difficult. Plus, we were fighting Washington's political establishment and news media—with The Seattle Times taking the unprecedented step of not just endorsing the referendum, but of actively campaigning for its approval. Nevertheless, we ran a strong campaign that we can be proud of—a campaign based on honesty and integrity.
Our opponents and some in the media will try to portray this election as a turning point, but it's not a turning point to win on your home turf. The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in this very liberal and secular state. The results show only that in a deep blue state, with a huge financial advantage, gay marriage activists can win—barely. Further, the results indicate that a significant percentage of Washington voters are troubled by redefining marriage. Washingtonians know that women and men are not interchangeable—that children need both a mother and a father—and this election does not represent a sea change in their understanding of that reality.
We are grateful for the support of tens of thousands of volunteers who stood for the timeless truth that real marriage is between a man and a woman."
Preserve Marriage Washington is a coalition of community and faith groups and hundreds of thousands of citizens who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
statement on the passage of Referendum 74
OLYMPIA – Governor Chris Gregoire made the following
statement today on the passage of Referendum 74:
"Washington has made history and I couldn't be prouder.
Voters stood up for what is right and what is just and said that all Washington
families are equal under the law. I am proud that our LGBT families will no
longer be treated as separate but equal, they will be equal.
"This is a day that historians will look back on as a turning
point for equality. It is a day I will look back on as Washington state leading
the nation. And it is a day that I will carry with me forever."
Supporters of Referendum 74 declare victory
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Supporters of gay marriage in Washington state are declaring victory, saying there's no way opponents can prevail as votes continue to trickle in on Referendum 74.
Zach Silk, a spokesman with Washington United for Marriage, said Wednesday that they were confident that they would hold or build on their current lead of 52 percent. The measure asked Washingtonians to approve or reject a state law legalizing same-sex marriage that lawmakers passed earlier this year. That law was signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire but has been on hold pending the election's outcome.
With about half of the expected ballots counted Tuesday night, R-74 was passing with 52 percent of the vote. Counties were expected to post additional vote results Wednesday afternoon. The measure was losing in 31 of the state's 39 counties. But it had its strongest lead - 65 percent of the vote - in King County, which holds about a third of the state's voters.
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