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The other ballot measure against gay marriage

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OLYMPIA -- A Thurston County judge has settled on ballot language for Initiative 1192, which would prohibit same-sex marriage by defining marriage as a civil contract between a man and a woman.

This is not to be confused with Referendum 74, which would prohibit same-sex marriage by blocking the bill signed earlier this week by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

It's likely that petitions for both ballot measures will be in circulation at the same time in fairly short order.

I-1192 was filed earlier this year by Stephen Pidgeon, before the debate over the legislative bill took place, and is proactive. It would bans same-sex marriage, period.

Ref. 74 was filed a few hours after Gregoire signed SB 6239, and in that sense is reactive. It would keep that particular law from taking effect.

They could both be on the November ballot if supporters get enough signatures. For Ref. 74, that's about 120,500 valid signatures by June 6. For I-1192, that's about 241,000 signatures by July 6.

Huh? It's a difference in state law between the rules for initiatives and referenda, which have different threshholds and signature gathering periods. Chances are, people who sign one will sign the other, so whether one reaches the ballot but not the other may come down to whether one side has better organization or more money to pay signature gatherers.

If you want to read the official ballot language and summary for I-1192, click on the document.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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