A Washington state judge on Tuesday
ruled that a referendum seeking to overturn a gay marriage law will
not include the phrase “redefine marriage,” the AP reported.
Attorney General Rob McKenna's original
language for the ballot title and summary of Referendum 74 was
challenged by both supporters and opponents of the amendment.
Judge Thomas McPhee's final ballot
description reads: “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.”
Supporters of marriage equality opposed
McKenna's wording, which described the law as one that “would
redefine marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry.”
McKenna, a Republican, has publicly
stated that he is opposed to giving gay couples the right to marry.
Zach Silk, a spokesman for Washington
United for Marriage, claimed victory in an email to supporters,
saying the court had “provided a fair and accurate title for
McPhee's ruling cannot be appealed.
Washington's gay marriage law was
signed by Governor Chris Gregoire in February. Gay and lesbian
couples may wed in the state starting on June 7. That is, provided
opponents do not gather sufficient signatures to put Referendum 74 on
the ballot. In which case marriage equality would be put on hold
pending the outcome of a November election.