Four leading Washington state newspapers have endorsed Referendum 74, the ballot initiative which would uphold a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers.

The Spokesman Review, the Seattle Times, the Columbian and the News Tribune have endorsed the measure in recent days.

The editorial board of the Walla Walla Bulletin also endorsed the measure on Thursday, September 13.

“Domestic partnership was falling short,” the paper wrote. “The language used does matter. Calling gay relationships domestic partnerships gives the impression the couple isn't as committed to each other as married couples would be.”

“A committed, long-term legal relationship is a marriage regardless of what you call it.”

“Quite simply, there is no government interest in limiting marriage to a man and a woman,” the Spokesman Review wrote. “Some critics say this special right is justified because government needs to promote the production of children. Yet, such couples can get married whether they have children or not. Many same-sex couples do raise children. … Ultimately, marriage is a personal decision and should be treated as such.”

“The law behind R-74 moves same-sex marriage from a legal contract to a covenant,” the Seattle Times wrote. “Two people in love are empowered with the rights, duties and responsibilities to build a life together as a married couple.”

A social media campaign launched by the Times goes a step further by calling on supporters to submit photos of themselves holding “I do” signs in support of Referendum 74.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) wrote about the op-eds in a blog post.