A referendum which would uphold a gay
marriage law approved by lawmakers is leading in Washington state.
With 52% of precincts reporting,
Referendum 74 was narrowly leading 52% to 48%.
But with nearly half of the votes yet
to be counted, supporters went to sleep Tuesday night saying they
were feeling “cautiously optimistic.”
“While we don't have a definitive
result, we like what we see, and we're cautiously optimistic,” said
Zach Silk, campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage, the
group working to approve the measure.
Washington is among the four states
considering the issue of marriage equality. Also voting on Tuesday
were Maine, which became the first state to legalize such unions at
the ballot box, and Maryland, where voters upheld a marriage law
approved by lawmakers. Minnesotans also rejected a constitutional
amendment which sought to define marriage as a heterosexual union.
“We'll need patience, but the numbers
are coming in the right way,” Silk added. “And with Maine and
Maryland successfully defending the freedom to marry we believe we
are poised to make history in Washington state.”
At an election event on Tuesday night,
Governor Chris Gregoire, who signed the bill into law, spoke to
Referendum 74 supporters.
“We showed the world that love wins
out, that families of all types deserve the same rights and
protections that are afforded to others,” she said.