Marriage equality opponents in Washington State are gearing up for a fight against the gay marriage bill that many expect to be signed into law by the end of next week.
Reuters reports that two different measures are being considered: a referendum to repeal the law and an initiative that would exclusively define marriage as between heterosexual couples. Both would be voted on in November if opponents can collect enough valid signatures to put them on the ballot (120,577 are needed for the referendum and 241,153 for the initiative).
“My guess is that foes of gay marriage will be going with the referendum challenge, since it takes fewer signatures and it gives a direct vote up or down on gay marriage,” said Dave Ammons, spokesman for the Washington Secretary of State’s office. “The initiative seems to be a backup plan.”
Chris Plante, regional coordinator for the National Organization for Marriage, said his group plans to back the referendum, but will “keep the initiative in our back pocket.”
“We’re going to go forward as a united group because what’s more important than the process is the end game of overturning this law and restoring marriage to its rightful definition,” he told Reuters.
If a referendum qualifies, the law would be put on hold until the November elections, and if voters reject the measure, gay couples would be able to marry beginning December 6.