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Gay marriage chat Monday June 11 at noon
Joseph Backholm, left, is the executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington and the Chairman of the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign, which is sponsoring Referendum 74.
Anne Levinson, right, is one of the state's first openly LGBT public officials. She led the Referendum 71 campaign in 2009 to retain the state's domestic partnership law and led the ballot title challenges against Ref. 74 and I-1192.
Join a live chat Monday June 11 at noon to discuss Referendum 74 with Anne Levinson and Joseph Backholm, moderated by Seattle Times assistant political editor Joni Balter and reporter Lornet Turnbull. Submit a question ahead of the chat.
Opponents of same-sex marriage on Wednesday submitted an estimated 232,000 signatures to the Secretary of State — all but guaranteeing that the question of whether gays can marry in Washington will now be decided by voters.
The same-sex marriage legislation, which the governor signed, was to have taken effect on Thursday but now remains on hold until the election.
Approval of Referendum 74 in November means same-sex partners would be allowed to legally wed.
And while rejection of the measure would repeal the law, there's nothing preventing the Legislature from bringing up the issue again in the next session.
Washington state has had domestic-partnership laws since 2007, and in 2009 passed an "everything but marriage" expansion of that law, which was ultimately upheld by voters after a referendum challenge. The Legislature approved gay marriage earlier this year, and Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the bill in February.
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