Washington Anti-Equality Group Distorts Truth To Promote ‘Separate But Equal’ Relationships

Preserve Marriage Washington should use this graphic to describe itself, not its opponent.

The National Organization for Marriage-backed Preserve Marriage Washington is trying to discount the negative experiences of gays and lesbians by accusing Washington United for Marriage of lying in a new ad:

In a television ad which began airing on Friday, a mother shares the story of her daughter’s struggle to care for her dying same-sex partner, saying that after her daughter’s domestic partner suffered a seizure, hospital staff refused to telephone her daughter because they were not married.  There is only one problem: that is not an accurate depiction of the law, says Preserve Marriage Washington, the statewide grassroots coalition committed to protecting the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. […]

Calling this a “pants on fire” misrepresentation, Preserve Marriage Washington Communications Director Chip White said, “This claim is a bold-faced lie.”

The anti-equality group makes the case that Washington’s “everything but marriage” law, approved in 2009, created hospital visitation protections for domestic partners, but that doesn’t mean the protections are guaranteed in each situation. What the law says and how a hospital reacts in an emergency will not necessarily be the same, because domestic partnerships are simply not recognized with the same familiarity and respect as marriages.

After New Jersey adopted civil unions, a commission found that those unions were not treated with the same respect as marriages, despite their supposed equality under the law:

Even if, given enough time, civil unions are understood to provide rights and responsibilities equivalent to those provided in marriage, they send a message to the public: same-sex couples are not equal to opposite-sex married couples in the eyes of the law, that they are “not good enough” to warrant true equality.

By attempting to rebut those seeking the approval of marriage equality through Referendum 74, conservatives have helped to illuminate that “separate but equal” can never truly be equal. Watch the ad: