Republican organizations are not of one mind on Referendum 71.
Last Saturday in Wenatchee, members of the Washington State Republican Party endorsed repealing a new law expanding rights for same-sex couples registered with the state as domestic partners.
Here is Chairman Luke Esser’s statement issued Monday:
“The Washington State Republican Party is urging voters to reject Referendum 71 at the ballot in November. Supporters of the “everything but marriage” bill have made it clear that their bill is just the latest installment of an effort to mandate gay marriage in our state. The choice is clear for those who do not support gay marriage. Now that R-71 has qualified for the ballot, the voters will have the final say. Over the next two months it’s important for voters to educate themselves on this measure and make sure their voice is heard at the ballot box.”
Weeks earlier the Mainstream Republicans of Washington joined Washington Families Standing Together, the coalition backing the law that is now urging voters to preserve it by approving the referendum.
You’ll find this comment on the coalition Web site:
Mainstream Republicans of Washington was founded over 30 years ago to provide a voice for moderation within the Republican Party. We believe in President Ronald Reagan’s inclusive view of the party and work to ensure that both moderates and conservatives have a voice in the Republican Party of Washington State.
I spoke with Alex Hays of Mainstream Republicans on Tuesday and asked what’s up with the group’s view.
“We exist to periodically and in careful and well considered ways to disagree with the state Republican Party and this is one of those times,” he said.