This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.
This year’s political argument over same-sex marriage is already divisive; it shouldn’t have to be confusing to boot.
Confusion has been arising from the two signature-gathering campaigns to overturn the Legislature’s legalization of same-sex marriage. Some citizens aren’t clear on what cause they’re be advancing by signing or not signing the petitions.
The short take: A signature on either petition helps subject marriage equality to a popular vote this November. That’s something you want to do if you oppose same-sex marriage or believe the decision belongs to the electorate.
The “decline to sign” counter-campaign seeks to secure same-sex marriage by preventing the threatened repeal from reaching the ballot. Yet an election would produce the best possible outcome if the new marriage law survived it: For the first time, same-sex marriage would have been directly ratified by voters rather than enacted by legislatures or imposed by courts. The law’s legitimacy would be beyond dispute.
Why two measures? Because there are two separate groups working to undo the Legislature’s measure, Senate Bill 6239.
One group is resorting to the referendum process, which lets voters affirm or reject a new law (referendum campaigns are always hostile to the law in question). Referendum 74 would repeal SB 6239, preserving the traditional requirement that a husband be male and a wife female.
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