Domestic Partnerships face a rollback in Washington state

We’re in trouble out here in Washington, and I’m asking for your help.  This May, the WA legislature passed and Gov. Gregoire signed a bill that expanded WA Registered Domestic Partnerships to be fully parallel to state civil marriages.  But on Sep. 2nd, a coalition of radical-right evangelicals managed to get a referendum qualified for the ballot, Referendum 71, which asks voters to approve or reject the new law.  WA is now a vote-by-mail state.

There is solid  support for DPs in the general WA population, but our support among likely voters in this off-year election is razor thin at 51%.  So, we need to motivate our supporters to actually vote.  That takes money.

With ballots hitting mailboxes October 16th, our campaign season is only 6 weeks long and hasn’t given us the lead time necessary to raise adequate funds before a major donor ban goes into effect on Oct 12.  After that date, no donor can contribute more than $5,000 cumulative.  

Our opposition hasn’t been doing any serious fundraising in the past several weeks, confounding our ability to show our need to our supporters.  We suspect that the opposition can do this and are doing this deliberately because they have a big benefactor who will dump big money and/or services into the state for them around the time the major donor ban goes into effect.  This of course would undercut our ability to match their effort later in the campaign.  The opposition campaign includes local affiliates of Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and Alliance Defense Fund.

We do have something good going for us this week: a set of donors from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employees at Microsoft (GLEAM), acting as individuals, have pledged to match each dollar of your donations over the next week, up to $10,000. Please help make sure all Washington families are equal: Donate to the Approve Referendum 71 campaign.

Thank you from one of the 12,202 straight senior citizen and LGBT domestic partners in Washington!  We can win this!

p.s. If the radical-right manages to roll back DPs in WA, this may embolden them to engage on a new front: DPs and CUs in semi-equality-tolerant states.  Yuck.

Cross-posted at Blue Mass Group.