An effort that would effectively repeal
a proposed gay marriage law in Washington state is underway before
passage of the law, the AP reported.
Democratic Senator Ed Murray on Friday
officially filed his bill which seeks to make Washington the seventh
state in the nation to grant gay and lesbian couples the right to
The state currently recognizes gay
couples with domestic partnerships. A 2009 expansion of the law gave
gay couples all the protections of marriage. A ballot initiative to
repeal the law failed.
Stephen Pidgeon, an attorney who worked
with groups to overturn the state's domestic partnership law, last
week filed an initiative that would affirm marriage as a heterosexual
“We believe this issue is even more
volatile than domestic partnerships,” Pidgeon said. “The voters
should get to vote on it. Let's see what they think.”
Pidgeon's initiative would alter the
current state statute's definition of marriage from a civil contract
between a male and a female to “between one man and one woman.”
The clarification is needed because
legalizing gay marriage “will lead to the liberalization of
marriage laws to allow for polygamy and other forms of
“We believe that the critical issue
here is, does the word marriage have particularized meaning, and if
so we need to secure that definition as a matter of law,” Pidgeon
Supporters of the initiative must
collect at least 241,153 valid voter signatures by July 6 to qualify
for the November ballot.
Governor Chris Gregoire, who previously
signed bills expanding the state's current domestic partnership law,
last week publicly endorsed marriage equality for the first time.
The bill, which remains two
votes shy of passage, will have its first public hearing on