Ref 71 title, summary are out; 15,000 vow not to sign petitions

  • Mon May 18th, 2009 5:26pm
  • News

Jerry Cornfield

The Attorney General’s Office has just released proposed language for Referendum 71, the measure to repeal the “everything but marriage” law signed today by Gov. Chris Gregoire. (see text below)

Anyone can challenge the language in the next five days. Referendum authors will wait until at least the end of the five-day period before printing petitions. They may wait longer if there is a court challenge. (BTW they can challenge the language too.)

Meanwhile. supporters of the new law are preparing for an electoral battle. They are already getting residents to pledge online not to put their name on a referendum petition.

Josh Friedes of Equal Rights Washington told me this afternoon that 15,000 people have made the “Decline 2 Sign Referendum 71” pledge.


Back to the ballot issue, here is the language sent to the Secretary of State today from the Attorney General..

If this measure qualifies to appear on the ballot, it will bear the following ballot title:


Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].

Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

Should this bill be:

Approved ___

Rejected ___


Same-sex couples, or any couple that includes one person age sixty-two or older, may register as a domestic partnership with the state. Registered domestic partnerships are not marriages, and marriage is prohibited except between one man and one woman. This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of registered domestic partners and their families to include all rights, responsibilities, and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples and their families.