The group trying to put Washington state’s new gay marriage law on the November ballot says it has gathered enough signatures to do so.
Preserve Marriage Washington says on its website it has collected over 153,000 signatures, surpassing the 150,000 recommended by the state elections office. Although only 120,577 valid signatures are needed by June 6, the state always suggests more than that to create a cushion in cases of invalid or duplicate signatures.
The 120,577 represents 4 percent of the total votes in the 2008 gubernatorial election.
If voters approve Referendum 74, it would uphold the law passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The law would allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a marriage license in Washington. However, religious organizations would not be required to perform marriage ceremonies.
Voting no on R-74 would mean a voter wants the law overturned.
According to The News Tribune, the head of Preserve Marriage Washington said the first 150,000 signatures were not the work of paid signature gatherers, although some were hired just in case the extra signatures were needed.
A separate public initiative, I-1192, is seeking to have marriage in Washington defined as being between one man and one woman. The deadline to submit those signatures is July 6, but that requires 241,153 signatures, which is 8 percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's race.