The language has been finalized for Referendum 74, an effort by conservatives to challenge Washington state’s new marriage equality law. Though opponents of the law sought to describe it as “redefining marriage,” Judge Thomas McPhee decided against such language. Here is how the referendum will appear to voters in November, assuming its proponents gather sufficient signatures:
The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 concerning marriage for same-sex couples, modified domestic-partnership law, and religious freedom, and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill. This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.
Should this bill be:
[ ] APPROVED
[ ] REJECTED
Unlike efforts to overturn marriage equality in other states, referenda in Washington ask voters to uphold the law, so those who support same-sex couples will be encouraged to approve Referendum 74. This is not to be confused with campaigns in Minnesota and North Carolina to defeat the proposed discriminatory constitutional amendments.