Just a day after Gov. Christine Gregoire signed same-sex marriage into law, the fight between supporters and opponents over a referendum effort shifted into high gear. Tuesday, same-sex marriage opponents said they would raise up to $6 million. Today, supporters of same-sex marriage said they would do the same.“We plan to match them,” said Zach Silk of Washington United for Marriage. “We hope to raise anywhere from $4-6 million.”
If Referendum 74 reaches the ballot as anticipated, the campaign over same-sex marriage appears on track to be an expensive one with $12 million apparently already on the table. Much of the funding for both sides of the issue is expected to come from out of state.
It’s quickly becoming clear what the messages are going to be. Opponents of same-sex marriage are going to argue, first and foremost, that Washington’s current domestic partnership law is good enough.
“We don’t really need to do this,” said Pastor Joe Fuiten of Cedar Park Assembly of God in Bothell. “We don’t really need to redefine marriage because we already treat gay couples equally in this state. They have every right. There’s no right they don’t have.”
Gay marriage supporters, meanwhile, are expected to focus their side of the campaign on those who are already in long-term partnerships.
“We are going to continue the message we carried in Olympia, telling people’s stories,” said Silk. “When you meet people who have been together for 20 years, they have children, they are incredible members of your community, you want them to be able to have the same right that you have to marry.”