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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 26, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 43
Thank you, Mr. President!
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Thank you, Mr. President!

Obama officially endorses Approve Referendum 74

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Washingtonians got big news October 25 when President Barack Obama officially endorsed Referendum 74, which would affirm marriage equality in the Evergreen State.

According to Paul Bell, press secretary for Obama's re-election efforts in Washington state, 'While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. Washington's same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the President supports a vote to Approve Referendum 74.'

'President Obama support for marriage reflects what's happening in Washington and across the country,' said Zach Silk, campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage, which is spearheading the Approve R-74 campaign. 'As more people, and more voters, realize that only marriage fully protects and supports families, they move towards supporting marriage for same-sex couples and Approving Referendum 74. We're now in the home stretch, mobilizing thousands of volunteers with the largest ground game in Washington ballot history. We feel momentum is on our side, and having the President weigh in on Referendum 74 puts an extra gust of wind in our sails.'

The president's endorsement comes at a time when polling numbers have begun a slow shift. For months, Approve R-74 has held a healthy lead, and while it is still ahead, the race is tightening as Election Day approaches.

AD CALLED MISLEADING
'In places where marriage has been redefined, people who believe in traditional marriage have faced lawsuits and lost their jobs. The same thing will happen in Washington if R-74 is approved,' said Preserve Marriage Washington's Chip White in a statement issued October 23 about the group's new TV ad.

Washington United for Marriage condemned the new ad by R-74 opponents, titled 'Examples,' as nothing more than a rehash of old stories designed to scare and confuse voters, as they have done in every marriage battle at the ballot box.

'Neither of these stories are new,' said Silk, referring to the allegedly true-life tales of woe depicted in the ad. 'They've been used repeatedly here in videos, mailers, and Sunday bulletins, and putting them up on TV does not make them true. In fact, the Vermont inn story was used in an ad in Maine where there is also a referendum on marriage equality, and the state's newspapers called it out as false.

'Our opponents are desperate. And so they're closing out with their old playbook of distortions and lies to scare voters. We'll put our trust in Washington voters who can see through these cynical political tactics,' said Silk.

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Standing his ground
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Thank you, Mr. President!
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SGN exclusive interview: The Rev. Harriett Walden
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Bill and Melinda Gates donate $500,000 to R-74
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Ask Michael: How marriage equality benefits us all
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