Friday, September 4, 2009

Voter Referenda on Same-Sex "Marriage" on Nov. Ballot in Washington and Maine

by Peter J. Smith,

Voters in the states of Washington and Maine will get the opportunity this November to decide the fate of same-sex "marriage" in their respective states, now that two measures have been certified to appear on the November ballot.

Maine election officials announced Wednesday that pro-family advocates had gathered more than enough signatures - nearly twice the number required - to effect a referendum on the same-sex "marriage" law passed by the Maine legislature. The referendum means Maine voters have the chance to exercise a "People's Veto" of the law, which if successful would then reduce the number of states legalizing same-sex "marriage" to five.


Meanwhile on the West Coast, the Secretary of State for Washington has approved R-71, a voter referendum that would overturn a law (SB 5688) passed by the legislature in April that gives homosexual couples all the rights and benefits of marriage, but stops short of giving same-sex unions the title of "marriage."

Pro-family advocates sponsoring R-71 under the banner of Protect Marriage Washington, however, say the law attacks the "historical understanding and definition of marriage" as the lifelong union of a man and a woman, and invites litigation that would lead to state courts legalizing same-sex "marriage."

Protect Marriage Washington submitted nearly 138,000 signatures by the July 25 deadline in order to get R-71 on the November ballot. However state elections officials threw out thousands of signatures, recognizing 121,617 signatures as the final tally. According to the Washington Secretary of State, just 120,557 were required to secure approval for the Referendum.

However the situation in Washington is far more precarious than in Maine, as homosexual activists plan to file a lawsuit on Thursday arguing that Secretary of State Sam Reed certified thousands of invalid signatures, which would then disqualify R-71 from the November ballot.

Yet the Protect Marriage Washington coalition is also fighting attempts by two homosexual activist groups to make the identities public of all Referendum 71 signers. The groups and have vowed to create searchable databases of the signers' names, along with the amount they gave and their place of employment. It is unclear whether their home addresses will also be published.

Read the full story here.