A move to outlaw marriage equality in Washington state by having voters enact a ban has failed to qualify for the November ballot.
Its sponsor, Stephen Pidgeon of Everett, says Initiative 1192 is more than 140,000 signatures short ahead of Friday’s deadline for turning in petitions to the Office of the Secretary of State in Olympia, and he concedes it won’t happen.
“I hate to say it … but we’re just not going to cross the threshold. We’re not going to make it. This measure is not going to be on the ballot,” Pidgeon said of I-1192.
“I’m just going to say that the well was severely poisoned….We were killed by friendly fire,’’ Pidgeon said. “There were activists working with R-74 (sponsors) telling people to burn our petitions, to throw them in the trash, that they would be worthless – that it would be overturned by the 9th Circuit (court).’’
In 2009 Stephen Pidgeon, an attorney, unsuccessfully attempted to have the state’s expanded “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law overturned.
R-74 asks the state’s citizens whether they will allow the marriage equality law passed earlier this year by the state’s legislature (Senate Bill 6239) to come into force.
The bill was signed into law in February after being championed by Governor Chris Gregoire.
Recent polls suggest that the voting public is in favor of allowing gay couples to marry, with around 54% saying they are inclined to keep the law.
Equality activists were always mindful that the R-74 referendum could and probably would happen, especially since opposition forces began a campaign to block the law even before it had passed.