Washington newspapers: Approve Referendum 71

Editorial support for domestic partnerships has been strong and unwavering since the domestic partnership debate began.  Back in May I had the pleasure of reporting that among local Washington newspapers posting an editorial about Washington registered domestic partnerships, every one of them unequivocally supported domestic partnerships.  Those newspapers were from Central Kitsap County, Everett, Federal Way, Kent, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima.

On September 2nd, Referendum 71 was certified for the November 3rd statewide ballot.  Referendum 71 asks voters to approve or reject the domestic partnership law.  Washington newspapers have not skipped a beat; newspapers from Everett, Federal Way, Long Beach, Seattle and Vancouver have renewed their advice to voters: Approve Referendum 71.  More are sure to come.

Yesterday Seattle times posted this, the most recent among the editorials.  Read, enjoy, and heed the warnings.

Approval of Referendum 71 attracts broad community support

A broad coalition of community support has rallied behind voter approval of Referendum 71, to extend legal rights and responsibilities to all Washington families.

THE campaign to affirm the legal rights and responsibilities of all Washington families has attracted an impressive coalition of support.

Approval of Referendum 71 has been endorsed by the region's largest employers, civic groups, a spectrum of religious organizations, business and professional associations, labor unions and good-government groups.

All are drawn to the equal treatment for families at the heart of R-71, which will be on the November ballot. The measure seeks approval for a law already passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Senate Bill 5688 gives registered domestic partners the benefits, obligations and responsibilities that apply to traditional marriages. This is about a relationship between couples and their families and the state -- all the various legal connections that interplay when couples establish households and raise families.

Passage of the referendum requires an affirmative vote. Supporters of equitable treatment for all Washington families must fill in their ballot to approve R-71.

Among those calling for approval are Boeing, Microsoft, Nike, Puget Sound Energy, RealNetworks and Vulcan Development. Other endorsements have come from The Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Washington State Bar Association and the Washington Association of Churches. Endorsements cover the state and cross the mountains.

As impressive as the coalition is for passage of R-71, it is no substitute for a strong turnout during an off-year election. An array of endorsements reinforces the importance of this thoughtful extension of the state's domestic-partnership law. Adoption of R-71 is still grounded in casting votes to approve its passage.

Approve Referendum 71 editorials in Washington newspapers since September 1, 2009:
  • Everett: Reaffirm law for fairness.  Everett Herald, September 11, 2009
  • Federal Way: Jeers to the Family Policy Institute of Washington for inflicting its dogma of intolerance upon this state. Federal Way Mirror, September 11, 2009
  • Long Beach: Editorial: Actually, vote yes on R-71. Chinook Observer, September 16, 2009
  • Seattle: Approval of Referendum 71 attracts broad community support. Seattle Times, September 24, 2009
  • Seattle: R-71, mark `approved' to support the domestic-partnership bill. Seattle Times, September 14, 2009
  • Seattle: Affirm the legal rights behind Referendum 71. Seattle Times, Tuesday, September 1, 2009.
  • Vancouver: Protect Minority. R-71 battle begs the question: Should civil rights be up for a vote?. Columbian, September 6, 2009

    By the way, Letters to the Editor in support of Approve Referendum 71 are also rolling in.  This is a large topic for another time, but just to give you a taste of the broad scope of support readers from across the state are expressing, here's a small sample.

    Letters to the Editor

    The News Tribune | Thursday, September 24, 2009
    R-71: Vote to dismantle unjust prejudice
    As a fair-minded and educated individual, I want to tell the community at large about the necessity to approve Referendum 71. -- Mary C. Otterness, Federal Way

    Kitsap Sun | Wednesday, September 23, 2009
    R-71 Isn't Just a Gay Issue
    Lest the debate on retaining Washington's domestic partnership law be hijacked by side issues typified by that inflammatory euphemism, "sexual preferences," we must remember that, in this case, the phase "domestic partnerships" applies to any loving, committed couple that for cultural reasons (if they are of the same gender), or financial reasons (if they are straight and one partner is at least 62 years old), cannot enjoy the benefits of a legal marriage. -- Nancy Frank, Bremerton

    The Daily Evergreen | Monday, September 21, 2009
    Referendum 71 is about more than gay marriage
    While I applaud Peter Wagner's column encouraging the approval of Referendum 71, I think it's important for people to think not only about this law in terms of the couples, but in terms of families as well. -- Dustin Hall, Pullman

    South Whidbey Record | Monday, September 14, 2009
    [Rejection of] Referendum 71 will bring collateral damage
    In the waging of war, we call it collateral damage. In the politics of plebiscites we call it the law of unintended consequences. -- Hal Seligson, Langley

    Columbian | Sunday, September 20, 2009
    Two ballot issues are important
    I believe in health care reform because all people -- not just the lucky ones -- should have access to basic health care...A "No" vote on Referendum 71 would reject this year's extended gay-rights* legislation and take away critical rights, including some related to health care, from thousands of families. I urge a "Yes" vote on Referendum 71. - Allie Denny, Vancouver Ed. note: Heterosexual seniors in domestic partnerships were also extended those critical rights.

    The Olympian | Friday, September 18, 2009
    *Referendum 71 is all about fairness

    I have been a lifetime Washingtonian. Though I have traveled the world, this is the state my family has called home since the 1850s. I am a conservative. I work hard and believe everyone should work and earn their way. I have a strong belief in God and enjoy a country that provides freedom for our religious beliefs. -- Nola Leyde, Yelm

    Bellingham Herald | Tuesday, September 15, 2009
    Calls for support of Referendum 71
    Please vote to approve Referendum 71. I'm not sure why anyone would oppose it. It is not about gay marriage. In fact, it's really not about gay anything. -- Marti Leviel, Bellingham

    The News Tribune | Sunday, September 13, 2009
    R-71: Gay rights allies must not be silent
    To paraphrase Edmund Burke, "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good citizens do nothing." In the face of the latest fear-based initiative to strip away human rights from gay men and lesbian women (Referendum 71), it is time for all allies of gays and lesbians to stand up. -- E. Duane Wilkerson, Executive Director Pierce County AIDS Foundation

    Everett Herald | Saturday, September 12, 2009
    Vote yes to keep law, protections
    I love Edmonds. I have lived here for over 40 years and the last 20 with my life partner. We own our home, and we have great neighbors, two dogs and a cat. -- Melissa Barran & Jo Ann Hartline, Edmonds

    Columbian | Saturday, September 12, 2009
    Referendum 71
    Discrimination means you are all alone in the world. You are a Jew in 1940 Germany, a black person in 1890 Mississippi, a Christian in Iraq, or a married gay couple in California (the victims of Proposition 8). -- Larry Little, Vancouver

    Seattle Times | Monday, September 7, 2009
    For the love of families, support extended partnership rights
    Thanks for your editorial in support of all Washington families ["Basic fairness, equality for Washington families," editorial, Sept. 2]. To voters who would deny me and my family equal rights, I'm not afraid to let you know who I am. -- Cathie Bachy, Seattle

    Seattle Times | Monday, September 7, 2009
    A loving home, a life among discrimination
    I will be voting to approve Referendum 71 to provide legal protections for couples and families like mine. My same-sex wife -- we were married in Canada -- and I are raising two children. Our son is a special-needs child, and our daughter is an honor student who will be a high-school junior this year. -- Nancy Suppe, Bothell

    Seattle Times | Friday, September 4, 2009
    Washington is a place of equality
    I was elated to read your editorial ["Basic fairness, equality for Washington families," Opinion, Sept. 2] encouraging voters to approve Referendum 71, upholding the domestic-partnership law, when it comes to the ballot this fall. -- Tucker Cholvin, Snohomish

    Seattle Times | Thursday, September 3, 2009
    Washington led for women's rights, now for gay rights
    I support Referendum 71. It is fair and correct to affirm the rights of Washington's gay and lesbian families. The United States Constitution was written for the people, not just married people, not just single people. For everybody. -- Scott Leopold, Everett

    Seattle Times | Thursday, September 3, 2009
    My marriage doesn't need saving from same-sex `threat'
    For the life of me, I cannot conceive of how marriage between two people of the same gender could be of any threat to my 50-year marriage; it doesn't need any "defense of marriage" group's help. -- Martin Paup, Seattle

    Bellingham Herald | Tuesday, August 18, 2009
    Asks for `yes' vote on Referendum 71
    There are a lot of views and information out there in regards to our state's domestic partnership rules and the fight for Referendum 71, yet I think many people are confused and misinformed. So I thought I'd try to help people understand it: It is not marriage, while people may believe and say it is, it's not marriage and one can't go into a church or visit city hall to get a license and have a "legally recognized" ceremony. -- Nick Milhoan, Bellingham

    Cross-posted at Pam's House Blend.
  • < On Improbable Realities, Part One, Or, "I Want A Jet Car With Frickin' Lasers..." | A day in the life of the Approve Referendum 71 campaign >
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