by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Staff Writer
Washington Families Standing Together, along with Equal Rights Washington (ERW), say the Faith and Freedom Political Action Committee is actively gathering the 120,577 signatures needed to put a domestic partnership bill before voters in November.
The opposition has until July 25 to collect the signatures in hopes of repealing the same-sex domestic partnership legislation that passed and signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire last May.
On Monday, the final week for signature gathering begins.
The Faith and Freedom website currently reports more than 8,000 signatures are being collected daily. They say, "Thousands more are being gathered for hand pick-up." They do, however, admit, "we are not there yet," and are asking volunteer signature gatherers to make plans to get more signatures over the weekend. The group is asking for their members to make the conscious decision to promote marriage between one man and one woman above all other legal unions because of its "inherent value to children and society."
Currently, same-sex couples do not have the right to marriage in Washington State.
It is not uncommon for people to get mixed up on whether or not they should sign a petition due to the petition's language. Armed with that knowledge, Equal Rights Washington formed the Decline to Sign campaign, reminding people not to sign any petitions regarding Referendum 71.
"We have started hearing reports of the possibility of paid signature gatherers and misleading methods of gathering signatures," cautioned Josh Friedes, Campaign Manager, Washington Families Standing Together. "We urge everybody to remind their friends and families to decline to sign Referendum 71 petitions, and make sure that any petition they sign is not a Referendum 71 petition. We have heard a few reports of people claiming that Referendum 71 is either a pro-Gay marriage referendum, or a ban on Gay marriage - neither of which, of course, is accurate. "
"This is a classic case of buyer beware - always read before you sign."
If people encounter fraudulent signature gatherers, they are urged to contact Washington Families Standing Together at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 324-2570.
"Working together, we are confident that we can preserve the domestic partnership law and protect Washington's families," Friedes said.
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