Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

President Obama endorses Referendum 71

Elected leaders from across Washington State aren't the only ones urging voters to Approve Referendum 71. So is the President of the United States:
“The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples, and as he said at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, he believes ‘strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.’ Also at the dinner, he said he supports, ‘ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.’"
The White House's statement was made in response to a question from The Advocate (the nation's oldest continuously published LGBT magazine, not this blog, whose full name is the NPI Advocate).

The campaign to Approve Referendum 71 already enjoys wide support from progressive organizations, major businesses, and organized labor, as well as the Washington Association of Churches.

Opponents, led by Larry Stickney and Gary Randall, are asking voters to deny civil rights not only for gay and lesbian couples, but also heterosexual couples. Our state's domestic partnerships law, which will only take effect if Referendum 71 is approved, would extend hundreds of rights currently denied to couples who do not have or cannot obtain a marriage license. But Stickney, Randall, and their followers don't want to live in a state with equal rights for all.

They want discrimination to be legal. And that's just wrong.

Gary, Larry, and friends have been using Orwellian language that sounds progressive in their campaign. Their political action committee is called "Protect Marriage Washington" and their signs outrageously claim that Washington State should reject Referendum 71 to "Preserve Marriage, Protect Children."

Actually, passage of Referendum 71 would make families stronger, by granting the same rights to unmarried parents and guardians that married couples enjoy today. Children will benefit from the passage of Referendum 71.

Keeping our domestic partnerships law is a matter of fundamental fairness. That is why President Obama is urging all Washingtonians to Approve 71.


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