Same-sex marriage foes look for boost from Obama stance

May 9, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash – Northwest gay rights supporters are cheering President Obama’s comments that he thinks same sex couples should be able to marry. But organizers of a petition drive to repeal Washington’s new marriage equality law hope to capitalize on the President’s new stance.

Referendum 74 is the name of the repeal measure in Washington. Backers say so far they’ve collected 70,000 signatures. That’s fewer than half the total the campaign hopes to submit to ensure the measure makes it on the November ballot. The deadline is June 6.

R-74 will give Washington voters a chance to affirm or repeal a law passed by state lawmakers earlier this year. It would allow same-sex couples to marry.

Joseph Backholm, who manages the R-74 campaign, says the President coming out in support of gay marriage may actually help.

“Because this will galvanize our base of folks who don’t want marriage redefined."

But gay rights supporters think the President’s comments about how he came to support same-sex marriage will appeal to voters who themselves are conflicted on the issue. This week voters in North Carolina overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network


Colorado governor makes push for civil unions

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he is pulling lawmakers back to work to resolve a debate over civil unions that ended abruptly without a vote late Tuesday night.

Gay rights advocates say the proposal has enough support to become law, but it was blocked by stall tactics of Republican House leaders.

Democrats have been pushing for the bill that would grant gay couples legal protections similar to marriage. And Hickenlooper has indicated his support for the plan.

Hickenlooper says his call Wednesday for a special legislative session was sparked by what he called an "overwhelming need" to discuss civil unions.

Colorado's debate comes as gay rights issues take the national spotlight behind comments from President Barack Obama, who said Wednesday that gay marriage should be legal.