Election Center

Referendum Measure 74

The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 concerning marriage for same-sex couples, modified domestic-partnership law, and religious freedom, and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill.

This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.

Should this bill be Approved or Rejected?

Election results

69
OptionVotesPct
Approved 1,527,272 53.23%
Rejected 1,341,926 46.77%

Related coverage

Washington made news

SEATTLE – People in Washington decided that marijuana, long derided as a dangerous drug that could lead to more harmful addictions, wasn’t so bad after all. Initiative 502, legalizing pot for adults, was easily approved in November and that sweeping change to drug policy was voted the state’s top news story of 2012 by Associated Press member editors. The other top news items of the past 12 months included another vote by Washingtonians, this one affirming gay people’s right to marry, as well as the expensive, hard-fought governor’s race, a local soldier accused of massacring civilians in Afghanistan and large, destructive wildfires in central and Eastern Washington.


Valley residents hold one of state’s first same-sex weddings

When Chase Lawrence was in the fourth grade, his teacher asked his class to envision their future. Lawrence answered that he would be living in England and married to a princess.


Hundreds take wedding vows

SEATTLE – Scores of same-sex couples crowded Seattle City Hall for a day of wedding ceremonies on Sunday, the first day they could marry after the state’s voter-approved gay marriage law took effect. While numerous weddings were taking place across the state, both private and public, the city hall weddings were the largest public event, with more than 130 couples taking part. The city set up five separate chapels to accommodate the revelers. From 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., cheers and applause regularly broke out as marriages became official.


License to wed

After waiting months, years and even decades, the last few hours and minutes of anticipation were joyful. The dozen or so same-sex couples who were among the first to receive marriage licenses in Spokane County on Thursday spent their time in line taking pictures and chatting about families, love stories and wedding plans.


23 same-sex couples get licenses in Spokane

Spokane County officials issued 23 marriage licenses to same-sex couples Thursday on the first day that became legal in Washington state. That was, not surprisingly, the most of any Eastern Washington county, but fairly low compared to the urban counties along the Puget Sound. King…


Gay marriage law takes effect today

OLYMPIA – Washington took the last step Wednesday in changing its laws to allow same-sex couples to marry. With about two dozen supporters looking on, Gov. Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed signed documents certifying that Referendum 74 passed in the Nov. 6 election. 


State election results, including same-sex marriage law, made official

Gov. Gregoire signs election results with Secretary of State Reed. OLYMPIA — Washington state took the last step Wednesday in changing its laws to allow same-sex couples to marry. With about two dozen supporters looking on, Gov. Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed…


Bragging rights on same-sex marriage go to WA

Supporters of same-sex marriage in Washington state apparently have something to hold over those other states that approved a similar law change at the ballot box last month. Not only did Washington have a bigger margin of victory than Maine and Maryland, says Andy Grow…


Vestal: Witt has next civil rights victory scheduled

On Thursday, Margaret Witt will be first in line again. Witt, the retired Air Force major who helped dismantle the misbegotten “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, is set to receive the first marriage license for two women granted in Spokane County, along with her longtime companion, Laurie Johnson. The actual wedding will come a little later, but in terms of public policy – the no-longer-discriminatory limits around the state’s issuing of a license – the achievement will have been achieved. The dream Margie Witt has only recently known to dream is coming true.


Deadline looms for marriage licenses

OLYMPIA – Voters changed state law earlier this month so same-sex couples can marry in Washington. The question now is whether the state can change its forms to reflect gender-neutral titles by the time the law takes effect Dec. 6. The state Department of Health, which keeps marriage and divorce statistics, holds a hearing this morning on a small but vital part of the marriage process: the paperwork.


Law puts churches on varied paths about same-sex weddings

For some pastors, Washington’s new law allowing same-sex marriage only adds a piece of paperwork to the blessings they already give to gay couples making a lifelong commitment. For others, the new law has no bearing because their church rules already bar them from marrying people of the same sex.


McKenna aides still confident of victory

OLYMPIA – Republican Rob McKenna’s campaign insisted Thursday he would overtake Democrat Jay Inslee “next week or the week after” as ballot counting continued in Washington’s close gubernatorial race. But after Thursday’s counts the gap in their vote totals remained about the same: 54,000 more votes for Inslee.


Ballot counts continue: Inslee still ahead, McKenna not conceding

OLYMPIA – Republican Rob McKenna’s campaign insisted he would overtake Democrat Jay Inslee “next week or the week after” as ballot counting continued in Washington’s close gubernatorial race. But while the percentages improved slightly for Attorney General McKenna, the gap in their vote totals remained…


Same-sex marriage foes concede defeat

Spokane County vote on Referendum 74 after Wednesday’s ballot count. OLYMPIA — Opponents of Referendum 74, this afternoon conceded that they will lose the fight over same-sex marriage in Washington. The latest vote count has Ref. 74 passing with about 52 percent of the vote,…


Same-sex marriage backers celebrate

With ballot counts continuing around Washington, supporters of same-sex marriage claimed victory Wednesday, saying their projections convince them Referendum 74 will pass. While they collected congratulations from the measure’s chief backers in the state Capitol, opponents said they weren’t ready to concede that Washington would join the small but growing list of states that allow same-sex marriage.


Ref. 74 supporters declaring victory

OLYMPIA — Supporters of Referendum 74, the state ballot measure that would legalize same-sex marriage, are declaring victory this afternoon, even before any more ballots are counted from the general election. Opponents say they aren’t conceding. Washington United for Marriage scheduled an afternoon press conference…


Mapping the vote: Spokane on same-sex marriage

Referendum 74, which would legalize same-sex marriage in Washington, is slightly ahead statewide, but trails in Spokane County For the statewide map, click here For a closer look at the Spokane vote, click on the PDF document below


Pot use OK’d; same-sex marriage, charter schools leading

Same-sex couples may be able to marry in Washington as early as next month, as the state’s voters seemed to be narrowly approving a law that was passed then suspended earlier this year. More certain for December, adults who use marijuana won’t need to fear arrest from state or local law enforcement officials, at least. By a larger margin, voters were approving a ballot measure that legalizes recreational marijuana use for adults, although it keeps it illegal for those under 21. The drug will still be illegal for everyone under federal law, however, and the state is headed for a new chapter in its 12-year-fight with the other Washington over who knows best about marijuana.


On the Web: HuffPo profiles state Rep. Walsh

Another example of Washington state politicians getting ink elsewhere: Huffington Post looks at state Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, noting her stance in support of gay rights and same-sex marriage. Spin Control readers with good memories might recall a post with a video of her…


Ref 74 gets $25,000 from Brad Pitt

The campaign to pass same-sex marriage in Washington state got a contribution Wednesday that is far from it’s biggest, but may be from one of its most celebrated donors: Actor Brad Pitt. And you thought he was busy making perfume commercials. Pitt recently gave $100,000…