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Tag: Referendum 71


UPDATE – Emergency motion filed to seal R-71 names

Washington state elections officials have halted the release of names of voters that signed the Referendum 71 petitions on domestic partnership rights in 2009. The move came after lawyers for Protect Marriage Washington filed an emergency motion Thursday in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge the judge’s order on Monday that released the signatures.


Supreme Court has tough questions on initiative secrecy case

From Les Blumenthal in our D.C. bureau:

WASHINGTON – Supreme Court justices from the left and the right seemed downright skeptical Wednesday as a lawyer for religious conservatives argued Washington state had no right to release the names of the 138,000 residents who signed ballot petitions to overturn a same-sex domestic partnership law.

Justice Antonin Scalia dismissed the arguments as “touchy feely” and said, “Democracy requires a certain amount of civic courage.”

James Bopp Jr., a lawyer for Protect Marriage Washington, argued that those who signed the petition for Referendum 71 faced harassment and intimidation from gay rights groups if

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Initiative secrecy: Utah story is mirror opposite of R-71

In Washington, it’s religious conservatives and professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman crying foul when petition signatures are made public. In Utah it’s the good-government activists worried about intimidation from majority Republicans if signatures are made public.

Oddly enough, the Utah legal challenge is under way and goes to argument in U.S. District Court next Wednesday, April 28 — the same day the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the R-71 case brought by religious conservatives who forced a domestic partners law onto the ballot last fall.

Here it’s Protect Marriage Washington that claims gays will target its supporters who oppose

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McKenna, Reed hopeful in R-71 signatures case

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments next week in Washington’s Referendum 71 case, deciding whether petition signers’ names are subject to public disclosure as a simple matter of public record.

The Supreme Court has never weighed in on the question, Republican state Attorney General Rob McKenna says. He told reporters in Olympia on Monday he’s already been through some practice sessions with his staff in Olympia, and he’s hopeful of prevailing on the argument that signing a petition is more akin to an act of legislation than to voting, which is secret.

Read full post.


Senate: Make petitions public

Voter petitions should be public records, the Senate voted tonight, stepping into an area being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The names and addresses of people who sign to get initiatives and referenda on the ballot would be publicly available under the bill, which passed the Senate 28-20.

“They have been made public repeatedly in our state’s past. They are public record. This bill underscores that,”  said Sen. Joe McDermott, D-Seattle.

The Supreme Court is due to consider the dispute over whether signatures of Referendum 71, the challenge to the “everything but marriage” law,  should be public.

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Geographer sees “two Washingtons” in Referendum 71 results

Richard Morrill, a professor emeritus of geography at the University of Washington, has published an interesting look at the results of Referendum 71, which expands rights of domestic partners. The measure passed in November.

Morrill’s study, (you can read it here), examines election returns by census tract, showing where the referendum passed, where it failed and by what margin. Not surprisingly, the measure found its greatest support in Seattle. Other core urban areas – including parts of Tacoma and Olympia – also gave the referendum overwhelming support.

What’s striking is the contrast between Seattle and the rest of the

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R-71 opponents still hopeful

Brad Shannon over at our sister paper, The Olympian, has been doing a great job following Referendum 71. Overnight he heard back from local R-71 opposition leader, who are not conceding despite the vote trend.

“Seeing the manifold Hand of God on our behalf time and time again, we cannot help but remain strong in faith that our Lord will see us through again,” wrote co-Pastor Valerie Hartwell of the Rivers of Glory Christian Church in Lacey.

Read Brad’s blog post here.

As of 1 p.m., the latest vote tally still had the measure passing 51.68 percent

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Late count: R-71 still passing

With the addition of Pierce and some other counties, Referendum 71 got slightly closer, but was still passing at the end of the day.

Approved: 51.65 %
Rejected: 48.35 %

Link to state results.

Around our shop, we have a saying “it ain’t over ’till it’s over.” (Hey we lived through Rossi vs. Gregoire)

Nobody told that to Seattle State Sen. Ed Murray, who’s declared victory.


Statement from Sen. Ed Murray on the passage of R-71

“Today is a great day of celebration for the tens of thousands of gay and lesbian families in Washington, and for anyone who supports equality in our state and around the country.

“While it felt like a crushing blow this fall when R-71 received enough signatures to make the ballot, at the time I expressed my faith that Washington voters would uphold the progress the Legislature made for gay and lesbian couples when it passed the ‘everything but marriage’ bill earlier this year. And yesterday, the voters of Washington came through.

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