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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: GLBT

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April 16, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Santorum strikes out; Ann Romney scores

Each Monday we will feature several important stories in the political world — ones that either just occurred, are defining moments, or are key markers on the horizon. Our blog is UW Election Eye, and we call these Monday Eye Openers.

Rick Santorum on NRA.org

Screen shot of Rick Santorum on NRA.org.

Santorum Quits, but Bella Joins
Rick Santorum called it quits last week on his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Santorum’s national Communications Director Hogan Gidley said Santorum ultimately decided that “if there’s no path, if there aren’t the delegates, then there’s no reason to keep going.”

Santorum has not gone quietly into hiding, though. He gave a speech to the National Rifle Association at the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum in St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend, where he told attendees that in addition to him and his wife Karen being lifetime members, that 3-year-old daughter Bella is now a lifetime NRA member too, adding, “I hope it is a long life.”

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Bella Santorum

April 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Hargrove defends views on gay marriage, welcomes challenger

Hargrove

Rep. Hargrove was blasted as the "Dumbest Legislator in the State" on the cover of the Stranger (photo from thestranger.com)

State Rep. Mark Hargrove was criticized for his testimony against the same-sex marriage bill in February. But now he says he was speaking for the majority of people in the state and looks forward to the fight against Democrat Bud Sizemore to hold on to his seat.

At the beginning of the year Mark Hargrove, who represents the 47th Legislative District around Auburn and Covington, was a newcomer quietly serving his first term as a state representative. That is until his words against the same-sex marriage bill started getting him a lot of attention.

During the floor debate over the bill Hargrove talked about the Jack in the Box Commercial that appeared during the Super Bowl. In the commercial, a son tells his mother that he’s getting married, not to a woman, but to bacon.

In his speech, Hargrove said: “That mom was realizing that same-sex marriage is not the same as traditional marriage. And that same-sex marriage for her son would not be the best choice for him.”

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Comments | More in State | Topics: 47th, 47th Legislative District, bacon

April 8, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Proponents of Referendum 74, on same-sex marriage, looking to impact law AND the governor’s race

In the state’s gubernatorial contest this year, it’s not just about who is on the ballot. Perhaps just as important is what else may be on the ballot.

A voter in Mt. Vernon, Wash., signs a petition during February's GOP caucus (Photo by Alex Stonehill / UW Election Eye).

Case in point: Referendum 74.

R-74 is being pursued by Preserve Marriage Washington to block Senate Bill No. 6329, which legalizes same-sex marriage. This bill passed the state legislature in February, was signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire, and is scheduled to go into effect June 7, but would be delayed if enough signatures are gathered to put R-74 on the November ballot. If R-74 makes the ballot, the outcome of its vote would determine the law’s fate.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: conservatives, GLBT, marriage equality

April 8, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Proponents of Referendum 74, on same-sex marriage, looking to impact law AND the governor's race

In the state’s gubernatorial contest this year, it’s not just about who is on the ballot. Perhaps just as important is what else may be on the ballot.

A voter in Mt. Vernon, Wash., signs a petition during February's GOP caucus (Photo by Alex Stonehill / UW Election Eye).

Case in point: Referendum 74.

R-74 is being pursued by Preserve Marriage Washington to block Senate Bill No. 6329, which legalizes same-sex marriage. This bill passed the state legislature in February, was signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire, and is scheduled to go into effect June 7, but would be delayed if enough signatures are gathered to put R-74 on the November ballot. If R-74 makes the ballot, the outcome of its vote would determine the law’s fate.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: conservatives, GLBT, marriage equality

March 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Initiative to repeal same-sex marriage gets a jump-start at GOP caucus in Mount Vernon

Sharon Brandt arrives at a caucus location in Skagit County armed with petitions to get an initiative outlawing same-sex marriage on the ballot. (Photo by Alex Stonehill/UW Election Eye

MOUNT VERNON — Sharon Brandt came to her caucus, at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Skagit County, armed and ready to collect signatures for Initiative 1192, one of two efforts to put the fate of same-sex marriage legislation in Washington to a popular vote this autumn.

Brandt said she found out about the effort just last weekend and wanted to get involved, so she attended an organizing meeting in Everett and picked up petition forms.

“What [the legislature] voted for goes against God,” she said, “and we don’t believe you can go against God.”

Signatures stacked up slowly at first, but as caucus-goers here wrapped up their meetings, a crowd formed around the table where Brandt had laid out the petition forms. About 150 people attended the caucus overall, and by the time the last person had filed out the door of the church, Brandt said she had collected close to 100  signatures in support of Initiative 1192.

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Comments | Topics: 1192, 74, Family

February 25, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Gregoire calls Obama "inspiration" for same-sex marriage law, but will it be enough to motivate young voters?

Then-Sen. Barack Obama and Governor Christine Gregoire at a 2008 campaign rally at Key Arena (photo by Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times).

Governor Christine Gregoire hailed President Obama on Friday as the “inspiration” for Washington state’s passage of a same-sex marriage law. It was a declaration that may surprise some.

If her view is shared by the president’s fabled young supporters, same-sex marriage is more likely to survive the potential ballot referendum in the fall elections.

Gregoire, according to Politico, praised Obama after he met with Democratic Party governors at the White House. The president, notably, does not support same-sex marriage laws, though he has often said his views are “evolving” on the matter.

But Gregoire said Obama had done plenty.

“I think we probably have succeeded as much as we have because of his leadership,” she told Politico. “He’s used the bully pulpit. He’s been the inspiration that allowed the state of Washington [to] recognize that we need to have equality.

“It’s because of what he’s been able to do that I actually think in large part we were able to achieve what we did. So I don’t criticize. To the contrary, I thank the president for his leadership on GLBT issues.”

Change is certainly underway.

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Christine Gregoire, Demographics

February 14, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Slideshow of Rick Santorum Monday night in Tacoma: religious liberty, gay marriage, and glitter bombs

TACOMA — Sporting his trademark sweater vest, Rick Santorum was greeted by hundreds of supporters, one glitter bomb, and about a dozen Occupy Tacoma protesters at a rally Monday night at the Washington State History Museum.

As two of the Occupiers were arrested and dragged away, literally kicking and screaming, some of Santorum’s fans, many of them families sporting babies on their hips, grew annoyed.

“We pick Rick!” alternated with ragged cries of “We are the 99%!” as Santorum spoke, referring at various points to President Barack Obama’s Health and Human-Services (HHS) mandate.

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Comments | Topics: abortion, conservatives, Evangelicals

February 13, 2012 at 6:30 AM

The culture war and Rick Santorum return to Washington: Susan G. Komen, contraception, Catholics, and same-sex marriage

Rick Santorum at the Cable Center in Denver, Colo., on Feb. 6. The candidate was talking with supporters at his campaign (Photo by Corey Christiansen / UW Election Eye)

The culture war is back.

Actually, it never left. Ideological struggles over reproductive rights, sexuality, gender norms, evolution, and public religious expressions have continued apace, but have taken a backseat to the worst economic crisis the nation has faced since the Great Depression. National unemployment rates crested over 10% in 2009 and now reside at 8.3%, leading some conservatives to call for a “truce” on social issues in this election.

It isn’t back with the same strength as the mid-2000s, when conservative opponents of abortion rights and same-sex marriage were on the winning political side. In 2003, Congress passed legislation banning late-term abortions and the next year 11 states passed ballot initiatives banning same-sex marriage. The conservative energy behind these laws helped George W. Bush secure a second term in the White House. Times have changed: political progressives are now on the offense.

So it isn’t quite a full-on culture war — yet. That could change today, however, when our own Washington state becomes the epicenter of one front of this clash: same-sex marriage.

And one thing to note: Rick Santorum has been waiting for this moment, while Mitt Romney has been dreading it.

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Caucuses, Christine Gregoire

February 2, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Washington's same-sex marriage bill brings tweets and glitter for presidential candidates

After tweeting in opposition to the same-sex marriage bill, Santorum (and any innocent bystanders) may have reason to fear glitter bombing come the Washington state caucus in March.

SEATTLE — When presidential candidates hit the campaign trail, they talk local issues. In South Carolina New Gingrich exclaimed, “One of my happiest moments as president would be to come to Charleston to see the first container ship carrying South Carolina manufactured goods to China.” In Nevada, foreclosure capital of America, Mitt Romney is going on the offensive with ads against Gingrich and his ties to Freddie Mac.

In Washington, one of the big issues on the table will be same-sex marriage. Last night, the State Senate passed the gay marriage bill in a vote 28-21. The bill now heads to the House, where it is favored to pass.

The Washington caucus is over a month away, but candidates are already facing the issue head on.

Rick Santorum tweeted the following early this morning, “Wash St. Sen. votes 2 legalize gay marriage. I would fight 4 Fed Marriage Amendment. We can’t have 50 different definitions of marriage.”

In response to the bill passing, the Seattle Times has received hundreds of comments and Santorum’s tweet has garnered countless responses and re-tweets.

However, this is not the first time in the campaign that Republican candidates are facing this issue. Two words for you: Glitter Bombing.

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Comments | Topics: GLBT, Glitter bombing, Michele Bachmann

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