Skip to main content

Originally published Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 3:22 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments (3)
  • Print

Group opposed to gay marriage releases TV ads

The group fighting to overturn Washington's gay marriage law has started running its first TV ads in the state on Thursday.

Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
Backholm and outfits like his Preserve Marriage Washington use clever plays on words... MORE
The ad is an insult to hetro couples that don't want to have children. Since when does... MORE
Since marriage is granted by the authority of the state it just makes sense to grant... MORE


OLYMPIA, Wash. —

The group fighting to overturn Washington's gay marriage law has started running its first TV ads in the state on Thursday.

The 30-second ad from Preserve Marriage Washington is running statewide on both broadcast and cable channels.

Referendum 74 asks voters to either approve or reject the state's gay marriage law that was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire earlier this year. That law is on hold pending next month's vote.

The ad says that because gay and lesbian couples already have all of the same legal rights of married couples under the state's current domestic partnership law, that R-74 should be rejected.

"You can oppose same-sex marriage and not be anti-gay," the ad says.

The ad, which opens with a picture of a rainbow flag, also warns of potential lawsuits or fines for those opposed to same-sex marriage if the referendum is approved.

Preserve Marriage spokesman Chip White pointed to a recent lawsuit settlement in Vermont between an inn and two New York women over an accusation it refused to host the couple's wedding reception. He cited cases from other states that have civil unions or domestic partnerships that have seen similar lawsuits.

"I don't think we need to limit ourselves to only looking at the states that have same-sex marriage to see what kind of lawsuits happen when marriage is redefined," he said.

But Andy Grow, a spokesman for Washington United for Marriage, said discrimination based on sexual orientation is already illegal under the state's anti-discrimination law, which was expanded in 2006 to cover gays and lesbians. And, he notes, no known lawsuits like White points to have occurred in Washington state under the state's current "everything but marriage" law.

Washington United for Marriage, the campaign working to uphold the law, issued a statement saying the ad's sole intention was to mislead and scare voters.

"Simply put, our law hurts no one, and better protects all loving couples and their families," wrote campaign spokesman Zach Silk.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

Maryland legalized gay marriage this year as well, but that state will also have a public vote this fall. In Maine, voters will decide on an initiative to approve same-sex marriage three years after a referendum overturned a law passed by the Maine Legislature. And in Minnesota, voters will decide whether or not to pass a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage there.

The first television ad supporting gay marriage in Washington state ran during the Olympics in July, and was paid for by the Seattle-based Pride Foundation. That ad featured former Republican Sen. Cheryl Pflug, who voted for the gay marriage bill passed by the Legislature this year. Since then, Washington United for Marriage has run a series of ads in support of the measure.

Preserve Marriage, which pushed to get the referendum on the ballot, has raised more than $1.7 million in opposition to the law. Washington United for Marriage has raised more than $8.9 million.



Link to ad:

Referendum 74 language:

Preserve Marriage Washington:

Washington United for Marriage:


Follow Rachel La Corte at or

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Looking for joy on the job