Does It Matter if the Anti-Gay Signatures Collected in Washington Were Collected Fraudulently?

The hucksters Gary Randall and Larry Stickney claim they submitted thousands more signatures than necessary to put Washington State’s “everything but marriage” legislation up to a citizens’ vote in November. So what happens when there’s very clear evidence at least some of those John Hancocks were collected fraudulently?

Video of one signature collector shows him obviously lying to passersby about what the documents they’re signing actually represent.

At issue is Referendum 71, which would put the question of domestic partnership rights up to a statewide vote. Randall and Stickney’s minions, through Protect Marriage Washington, needed 120,577 signatures by Saturday to stay the law and keep it from going into effect until voters weigh in. But those signatures must be certified and valid.

This video, from, shows a man outside a Wal-Mart in Port Angeles, Wash., clearly misrepresenting the documents he’s asking folks to sign. The man said to one woman:

Did you get a chance to sign our petition? We’re giving you an opportunity to decided whether or not you are in favor of giving homosexual couples legal marriage licenses. Not just the same rights as married people, but a marriage license too. Do you have an opinion on that? Yes? No? Or don’t Care?

Except as the website notes:

The woman said yes, that she will sign, and he handed her the clipboard. It was obvious to me that she was signing what she thought was a petition in favor or giving same-sex couples marriage licenses. So I asked her if she supports same-sex marriage. She said that she did.

This type of fraud isn’t terribly surprising: It takes a lot of work to snag the 135,000+ signatures PMW claims it did, and we imagine these volunteers who want to keep gays as second-class will go to great lengths to get their way. If they’re already so unethical to keep gays from sharing pension benefits and inheritance rights, their moral line probably allows for plenty of other mischievousness.


Unfortunately, fraudulent signature gathering is not illegal in Washington state. The mentality is that one should read and know what they are signing. Of course, in reality, many people who are stopped in a parking lot don’t read the entire petition, they believe what the signature gatherer is telling them.