If it appears on the ballot, would you vote in favor of or against gay marriage in Washington state?
SEATTLE – How will you vote this November in the fight over same-sex marriage? Yes and no, or no and yes?
There may be two measures on the ballot this fall covering the topic, but depending on which side you’re on, you’ll have to vote on each differently.
With the state’s marriage equality bill signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire Monday, opponents are vowing to collect enough valid signatures from registered Washington voters for a referendum to let voters have the final say on the topic. A referendum allows citizens to vote on acts of the Legislature before they become law.
Referendum supporters have until June 6 to collect 120,577 signatures - 4 percent of the total votes in the 2008 gubernatorial election -- or the law goes into effect the next day.
But a separate public initiative could appear on the ballot that would define marriage in Washington as being between one man and one woman. Initiative 1192 was filed by state attorney general candidate Stephen Pidgeon. He has until July 6 to turn in 241,153 signatures, which is 8 percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's race.
Depending on which side of the issue they stand are on, voters could have to vote 'yes' on one and 'no' on another.
On the referendum, voters will be asked to decide based on the text of the legislation signed by Gov. Gregoire. If a voter want to uphold the law as written, he or she would vote yes. A no vote would be to overturn the gay marriage legislation.
I-1192, however, would read: “This measure would define marriage as a civil contract between one man and one woman and prohibit marriage when the parties are persons other than one man and one woman. Should this measure be enacted into law?”
So, a supporter of same-sex marriage would vote no on this one, while opponents would vote yes.
Neither the referendum nor the initiative have been approved for the ballot yet. Certification will be up to the secretary of state's office.
For gay marriage? Yes on the referendum, no on I-1192.
Against gay marriage? No on the referendum, yes on I-1192.