Why Washington’s Gays Aren’t Rushing for Marriage Rights in 2010


California’s voters aren’t the only one saying “no” to a 2010 ballot initiative to score marriage rights. Washington State, which just secured expanded domestic partnerships, doesn’t want to dive back into the marriage mess either.

While the effort to repeal Prop 8 was dealt a blow with the latest polling in California — where some 60 percent of voters said they didn’t want to see the issue on the 2010 ballot — Washington’s gays looking for a quick fix to the 1998’s Defense of Marriage Act, a state law that limited marriage to the guy-girl method, won’t be thrilled.

Neither activists behind Approve R-71, nor their opponents from Protect Marriage Washington, say they’re going to push for a ballot initiative to legalize same-sex marriage. Marriage advocates say they don’t have the support; indeed, “as of Friday, voters in 29 counties were rejecting the measure,” relays Washington’s Daily Herald.

But what about the legislative option? Also a no go. Not only does State Sen. Ed Murray say he doesn’t have the votes for his same-sex marriage bill, he’s confident it won’t even receive a hearing in 2010. Which has activists saying they’re going to lay off pushing legislatures just yet to take a vote on the bill. (That, and lawmakers facing re-election next year aren’t exactly begging to attach their name to a gay rights cause.)

So what about a courtroom to the state’s DOMA, a la Massachusetts? “Both sides say they aren’t planning to use the courts to press their cause, though they think their opponents will.”

Which means for now, domestic partnerships — which go into effect Dec. 3 — are where things stand for the foreseeable future.

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  • hyhybt

    That’s probably best, for the time being, especially as close as it was. Let both sides heal a bit, and let ‘them’ see that domestic partnerships aren’t the end of the world after all, and come back to it somewhere around 2013.

  • terrwill

    You win a war by being successful in a series of battles, which defeats and demoralizes the enemy. We have won a tremendous battle in Washington. For the first we actually scored a victory thru a ballot rather than legislative action. Let the freakin dust settle, the Gays have every single right and benefits as the hetros do except for the word “marriage”. Lets get as many couples covered under that act. Prove that the state of Washington is not going to spontaniously implode due to Gay unions. Once it becomes the norm if some members panties are still bunched up over the word marriage it can be revisited. All we do by continuing to push the word “marriage” is raise cash for the rightwing-nutbag zealots like Maggie Gallagher. We have proven that we can suceed at the ballot box with civil unions………..lets win a bunch of battles and then we can discuss ending the war………

  • Lonnie

    Terriwill, you’re wrong. We do NOT have all the rights except the name. All the big ticket items come with FEDERAL recognition, which seems pretty near impossible given Obama’s open contempt for anything queer and the Democrats’ ability to see gay issues only in terms of how to get out the vote for the next election.

    And “gays” in Washington didn’t decide this position. A handful of hand-picked, middle class, white men decided this position in coalition with two gay Democratic Party hacks in the state legislature. Queers here in Washington, like everywhere else in this country, have no voice. We’re ready to be done with it and demand equality for all NOW, damn it. We have gay teenagers here committing to raising their own money (cuz the adults don’t give a shit about anything except domestic partnerships) for queer youth space. We have gay bashings all the time. Hello, the recession ain’t over and so long as we don’t have ENDA we’re still particularly vulnerabale, especially lesbians and trans folks. But our self-appointed leaderships takes its cues from polling and from the needs of the Democrats in the legislature, NOT from real live LGBT people.

    God, I’m so tired of hearing the same cliches over and over and over… “win a bunch of battles?” Where have you been for the last four decades? We HAVE won a bunch of battles. We’ve made YOUR world a little more tolerable. Show some respect. That’s what makes it so outrageous when someone new person comes on the scene and says, like you do, “why are you so mad?” Because we still ain’t equal, kid, and too many fags today seem okay with that.

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