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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Defense of Marriage Act

Today’s fun audio: Clinton dodges Terry Gross on gay marriage


NPR's Terry Gross asks Hillary Clinton several times about any political calculus on her change on same-sex marriage and Clinton dodges it, several times.

Court ruling expands rights for WA same-sex couples

OLYMPIA – Supporters of Washington’s same-sex marriage law called Wednesday’s Supreme Court decisions a major step forward for gay and lesbian couples, but warned it’s not the end of the road. There are more than 1,000 federal rules and regulations that will have to be studied, and likely more court battles ahead.

“We’re on a long road and today was a Mach 1 step forward,” Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, said. “It doesn’t mean we’re at the endpoint.”

When the Legislature approved a same-sex marriage law last spring and voters affirmed it in the November elections,  that invalided the state’s version of the Defense of Marriage Act. But same-sex couples weren’t eligible for some federal benefits, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, the bill’s prime sponsor, said. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog

Initiative filed against same-sex marriage

OLYMPIA — The beginning of January doesn't just mark the beginning of the Legislature. It is also the beginning of the initiative filing season.

Earlier today, an Everett attorney filed paperwork for an initiative that would define marriage as strictly between one man and one woman. Well, actually the language says “This act reaffirms the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman,” because it's an attempt to shore up the Defense of Marriage Act, which is currently on the books but could be changed if the Legislature passes a bill that would allow same-sex marriage.

One might wonder about the political wisdom of this, or at least the timing. The same-sex marriage bill isn't being proposed as one that comes with a referendum clause, which would send it automatically to the ballot, but such a clause might be needed in any compromise that moves it through the Legislature. Even if it doesn't have such a requirement, however, opponents could send it to the ballot by gathering half as many signatures as an initative needs. Putting an initative and a referendum on the same topic on one ballot is a recipe for confusion…just ask the groups that sponsored two liquor initiatives in 2010.

And should the Legislature fail to pass a same-sex marriage bill, do sponsors really want to place the issue on the November ballot, and risk the prospect of voters rejecting the one-man, one-woman description? Or will they just fold their tents and stop gathering signatures?

Meanwhile, Tim Eyman is on track to retain the title of most prolific initiative filer, with five different ballot initiatives already in the hands of the Secretary of State. He has proposals on preserving $30 car tabs, super majorities for tax increases, restricting traffic ticket cameras, stopping government fraud and “protecting the initiative.” That last comes down hard on anyone harassing signers or signature gatherers, and adds six months to the process so initiatives can be filed as early as July of the year before the election, rather than January of election year.

Eyman makes clear that his organization has yet to determine which, if any, of these it will push. “We want to see how the legislative session unfolds,” he says in a press release that doubles as an appeal for money from contributors.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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