Creep of the Week: Protect Marriage Washington

By D'Anne Witkowski

It's October, folks, and you know what's just around the corner? Election Day. And what Election Day would be complete without a gay-related ballot measures?

One state keeping the tradition alive is Washington with Referendum 71, a proposal to keep the state's domestic partnership law for same-sex couples and senior citizens on the books.

In short, the legislature passed the law, the anti-gay folks freaked out and collected signatures to get it on the ballot hoping that they could then overturn it and marriage would be the safe and sound and secure institution it was before homos got involved.

Of course, R-71 is not a bill to legalize same-sex marriage as Protect Marriage Washington, the group against R-71, claims.

The language voters will see on the ballot even makes that clear: "The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill. This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage."

If R-71 passes, then Washington's domestic partnership law, which is, I repeat, already on the books, stays in place. Nothing changes.

But if you take Protect Marriage Washington's word for it, passage of R-71 is tantamount to open sodomy in the streets and gays tearing heterosexual marriages asunder.

In other words, PMW's argument is the same-old, same-old: scare tactics, distortions and outright lies.

One of their more insidious claims is that should R-71 pass, "public schools K-12 will likely be forced to teach that same-sex 'marriage' and homosexuality are perfectly normal."

And to Protect Marriage Washington, homos are anything but normal. And God forbid children be taught otherwise. Of course, what PMW is really trying to do it to paint some kind of horrific future scenario where homosexuality is not only acknowledged in schools, but where children are also taught to be gay, right down to daily recitations of "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross and Indigo Girls sing-a-longs. This is, needless to say, not the aim of R-71 supporters or any other sentient being on the planet.

Protect Marriage Washington is also claiming that passage of R-71 means that people of faith will be bound and gagged, forbidden to state their beliefs about homosexuality and forced to trade their Bibles for the complete works of Dan Savage.

In reality, the only folks who stand to have something taken away are the couples protected under the domestic partnership law Protect Marriage Washington wants so feverishly to do away with.

"This is extraordinarily personal," said a volunteer with Washington Families Standing Together, a coalition of R-17 supporters, at an Oct. 12 community forum. "It will be 200 rights and responsibilities my partner and I will benefit from" that will be lost if R-17 is rejected.

Oh, and R-17 doesn't just grant rights to gay couples. According to, "Senior citizens in committed relationships who want to preserve certain benefits often cannot remarry after a spouse as died. But the rights afforded to them as domestic partners under the new law would give them access to each other's disability and unemployment benefits, as well as let them use sick leave to care for each other."

And we all know what that is (cough, cough, socialism, cough).

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