Ballot wording finalized for anti-gay marriage measure

OLYMPIA — A Thurston County Superior court judge has ruled that a proposed referendum seeking to overturn a new law legalizing gay marriage in Washington state will not contain the phrase “redefine marriage” if it makes it to the November ballot.

Judge Thomas McPhee issued his decision Tuesday afternoon on the language for the ballot title and summary of Referendum 74. Gay marriage supporters were opposed to language as written by attorneys from the office of Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna. McKenna’s office described the new law as one that “would redefine marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry.”

Preserve Marriage Washington, which filed R-74, can now start circulating petitions to collect signatures. If they collect the more than 120,577 valid voter signatures needed by June 6, the law will be put on hold pending the outcome of a November vote.

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