The fight to block a gay-inclusive
domestic partnership referendum from the ballot remains the same,
only the courtroom has changed as gay rights groups continue their
challenge in Washington State.
The gay rights group Washington
Families Standing Together has shifted its fight to Thurston County
Superior Court after King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector
rejected the group's challenge on a technicality last week. A new
hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday.
Secretary of State Sam Reed certified
Referendum 71, the ballot measure that puts the “everything but
marriage” law up for a vote, last week. But the referendum barely
met the state's minimum with only 1,430 signatures to spare.
The group alleges that the secretary of
state accepted thousands of “defective petitions” and signatures
of people who were not registered voters at the time they signed the
petitions. About 35,000 voter signatures are being challenged.
While Judge Spector appeared to side
with plaintiffs, she denied the motion, saying that a challenge to a
referendum can only occur after it has been certified by the
secretary of state and that it must be brought in Thurston County
On the same day, the referendum was
certified and the next day, Thursday, the group filed its complaint.
The “everything but marriage” law
was scheduled to take effect on July 26, but opponents submitted
137,689 signatures on the eve of its start, which put the law on hold
until after the November election. If passed, the law would extend a
2007 domestic partnership law for a second time, granting gay and
lesbian couples all the remaining state-provided rights, benefits and
responsibilities of marriage.