Published May 30, 2012
Group opposing gay-marriage law says it has 151K signaturesJORDAN SCHRADER
The group trying to challenge the state’s new same-sex marriage law said Wednesday that it has surpassed the 150,000 signatures recommended by the state elections office to put Referendum 74 on the ballot. With the June 6 deadline still nearly a week away, the announced signature count of 151,338 and counting builds in a substantial cushion beyond the 120,577 valid signatures that Preserve Marriage Washington needs to earn a spot on the November ballot. If Washingtonians approve R-74, they will uphold the law passed by the Legislature this year recognizing same-sex marriage. If they reject it, they will overturn the law. Opponents of same-sex marriage brought in the first 150,000 signatures without contributions from paid signature gatherers, said Joseph Backholm, president of Preserve Marriage Washington. He said the group did pay some professional gatherers, just in case, but those petitions aren’t included in the 151,338 count. He said the campaign mailed petitions to 1,500 churches and thousands of households. “A lot of people worked hard to make it happen,” Backholm said.