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Court hearing next Tuesday on ballot title for gay rights referendum

Post by News Tribune Staff on May 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm with No Comments »
May 28, 2009 7:07 pm

The folks who want a public vote on the bill to extend “everything but marriage” rights to domestic partners don’t like the ballot title that was given to Referendum 71, so they are challenging it.


The hearing on that challenge will take place in Thurston County Superior Court before Judge Thomas McPhee, according to Brian Zylstra at the Secretary of State’s office.


The hearing is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday. The case number is 09-2-01278-1.


Here’s the rest of the news from Zylstra:


On Tuesday, Larry Stickney filed a challenge in Thurston County Superior Court to the ballot summary for Referendum 71.


Here is the original ballot summary, as written by the Attorney General’s Office: Same-sex couples, or any couple that includes one person age sixty-two or older, may register as a domestic partnership with the state. Registered domestic partnerships are not marriages, and marriage is prohibited except between one man and one woman. This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of registered domestic partners and their families to include all rights, responsibilities, and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples and their families.


Mr. Stickney is asking the court to modify the summary so it reads as follows: The bill would expand the rights, responsibilities and obligations of registered domestic partners to be equal to the rights, responsibilities and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples, except that domestic partnerships will not be called marriages.


R-71 sponsors need to turn in a minimum of 120,577 valid voter signatures by July 25.


Brian Zylstra

Deputy Communications Director

Office of Secretary of State

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