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Challenge to gay rights bill filed by Eyman
Seattle Times staff reporter
Tim Eyman filed an initiative and a referendum this morning aimed at getting rid of the gay rights bill passed by the Legislature on Friday.
State law bans discrimination based on race, sex, religion, marital status, disability and other categories. The gay rights measure passed by the Legislature adds sexual orientation to that list. Gov. Christine Gregoire plans to sign the Legislation Tuesday.
"Politicians are deciding based on special interest group pressure and their own reelection calculations," Eyman said in a statement emailed to reporters. "The voters have watched this disgusting display of arrogance and selfishness for weeks."
The gay rights measure passed by the Legislature has been around in some form for 29 years. Gregoire today said she'll fight any effort to undo the new law.
"I'm surprised someone would file an initiative to say let's discriminate against our fellow citizens," Gregoire said. "It strikes me as counter to the values of the state of Washington to have an initiative now that would say to the people of the state of Washington it's ok to discriminate... against gays and lesbians."
Referendums, intended to give voters a say on laws passed by the Legislature, need 112,440 valid signatures to get on the ballot. The signatures have to be turned in within 90 days after the session ends. March 9 is the final day of this year's regular session.
Initiatives, on the other hand, are generally used to get new laws on the ballot but can be used to change existing law. Eyman would need 224,880 valid signatures to get an initiative to the people on the ballot, but has more time to do so. The signatures for an initiative don't have to be turned in until July 7.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company