Opponents of gay marriage say they have reached the number of signatures needed to qualify a proposed referendum seeking to overturn a new law legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state, and that they may turn them in as early as next Tuesday.
Joseph Backholm, with Preserve Marriage Washington, said that the campaign for Referendum 74 has at least 150,000 signatures on hand. Backers of R-74 need to turn in 120,577 valid voter signatures by next Thursday in order to qualify for the ballot. The secretary of state’s office recommends that campaigns submit about 150,000 signatures in order to provide a cushion for invalid or duplicate signatures.
Washington state has had domestic partnership laws since 2007, and in 2009 passed an “everything but marriage” expansion of that law, which was ultimately upheld by voters after a referendum challenge. The Legislature approved gay marriage earlier this year, and Gov. Chris Gregoire signed it in February. (AP)