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 Superior Court.

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.