Same-sex marriage petitions active

Those wanting to repeal the state’s new same-sex marriage law can start signing petitions today in hopes of putting the question before voters in November.

Petitions for Referendum 74 were printed Wednesday and will be distributed around the state starting today, said Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington and a leader in the coalition pushing for the law’s repeal.

Preserve Marriage Washington, which filed Rerferendum 74, must turn in at least 120,577 valid signatures of registered voters by June 6 to get on the November ballot. If they do, the law will be put on hold until the outcome of the election is known.

The coalition does not intend to hire professional signature gatherers, Backholm said.

“I don’t think we need to,” he said, noting 4,000 people have asked the coalition for petitions to circulate. “I don’t think it’s going to be a squeaker.”

The coalition could not print petitions until a court ruled on the exact wording that would appear on the ballot should it qualify. That answer came earlier this week in a Thurston County courtroom where Washington United for Marriage secured several wording changes it had sought.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;

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