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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 2, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Referendum 71 on the ballot: Does voting no protect marriage?

For homophobes, no marriage

Editor, The Times:

I would like to take a moment to reassure opponents of Referendum 71, those homophobes who want to prevent domestic-partnership rights from expanding.

I don’t hate homophobes. I don’t fear homophobes. I don’t have religious objections to homophobes.

I just don’t think they should be allowed to marry.

— Howard Hance, Snohomish

Confusion, like with Prop. 8, needs to be avoided

The Seattle Times reported that those seeking to overturn extended domestic-partner rights with Referendum 71 have collected enough signatures to put it on the ballot in November, and The Times published an article immediately below that report with the headline, “Foe of R-71 mulls write-in bid for mayor” [page one, Sept. 1].

This story is about state Sen. Ed Murray, who is a staunch supporter of passing R-71, not a “foe.” This incorrect language is sure to confuse voters wondering whether to vote yes or no on R-71. [Editor’s note: Murray opposed domestic-partnership rights expansion going to a vote in R-71. Once R-71 gathered enough signatures, however, Murray is a supporter of voting yes on R-71 to extend to domestic partners the same rights as married couples.]

A referendum that has already been passed by the state Legislature is a law; if it goes to the ballot, a yes vote upholds it and a no vote overturns it. While you explain this later in the story, this is not enough for many people who likely read your incorrect headline and moved on.

I am particularly concerned about this misleading headline because of the voter confusion about Proposition 8 in California last November. Polls have shown that many voters on both sides were confused about what their “yes” and “no” votes meant, with many supporters of gay marriage accidentally voting in favor of Proposition 8 and vice versa.

— Hannah Tracy, Seattle

My marriage doesn’t need saving from same-sex ‘threat’

For the life of me, I cannot conceive of how marriage between two people of the same gender could be of any threat to my 50-year marriage; it doesn’t need any “defense of marriage” group’s help.

— Martin Paup, Seattle

Washington led for women’s rights, now for gay rights

I support Referendum 71. It is fair and correct to affirm the rights of Washington’s gay and lesbian families. The United States Constitution was written for the people, not just married people, not just single people. For everybody.

Domestic partnerships are not a replacement for full marriage equality. All families deserve true equality under the law. The purpose of our Constitution is to limit the power of government and protect the rights of the people.

Who opposes R-71? People who think our constitutional liberties do not apply to everyone but rather to specific groups they happen to belong to. We have a word for that: intolerance.

This is a time for all who believe in equality of rights to stand up and be counted. Washington state is the nation’s leader in women’s rights. Let’s take the lead on this issue, and make sure our gay and lesbian families enjoy the same protection the rest of us take for granted.

— Scott Leopold, Everett

Comments | More in Gay marriage, Gay rights, Politics, Washington Legislature

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