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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Referendum 74

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October 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Referendum 74 finds an unlikely champion in hip-hop’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

A Washington State hip-hop artist bucks stereotypes by making music in support of marriage equality and Referendum 74. Hip-hop artist Macklemore, aka Ben Haggerty (Photo by Alan Berner of The Seattle Times) SEATTLE — Hip-hop is not generally considered a bastion of progressive virtue. Despite the boundaries and expansion spurred by the hip-hop movement over the…

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Comments | More in Local, State | Topics: Ben Haggerty, Macklemore, Referendum 74

August 16, 2012 at 6:45 AM

Free Speech, Free Enterprise, and Chick-Fil-A

After Chick-Fil-A President and COO voiced his views on marriage, conservatives and liberals across the nation reacted with strong opinions. But whether you agree or disagree, the larger issue here is free speech.

Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A promotion, image courtesy the company

SEATTLE — With the Washington State primary behind us, the countdown towards Election Day begins in earnest, accompanied by a requisite increase in heated rhetoric and spin. Here, as well as in Maryland, Maine and Minnesota, voters will weigh in on same-sex marriage at the ballot box. It seems like everyone from President Obama to my mother-in-law are thinking about this issue.

Exhibit A: last month’s announcement by Dan Cathy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chick-Fil-A, which made headlines as far away as South Korea.

Let’s revisit his words and discuss them for a minute.

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Comments | More in National, State | Topics: Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, gay marriage

August 1, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Pew: Democrats and Independents support gay marriage

Pew - July gay marriage poll

Summary of Pew Research July poll

Gay marriage may be the litmus test for the 2012 election cycle. It’s certainly shaping up that way for a lot of Democrats.

Two-thirds of self-identified Democrats and half the independents polled by the Pew Forum on Religion and Life last month support gay marriage.

And although only 24 percent of Republicans share this attitude today, even the GOP shows a steady growth in support over time.

Key to the change in attitude appears to be a change in how society views homosexuality in general.

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Comments | More in National, State | Topics: gay marriage, Pew Research, R-74

July 23, 2012 at 6:45 AM

Many Orcas Islanders celebrate their independence by cheering for those rooting for Referendum 74

The Orcas LGBT community for the first time publicly joined the Island’s July 4th Community Parade to show their support for approving Referendum 74 in November.

Orcas Island 4th of July Celebration

Orcas Islanders show their support for approving Referendum 74. (Photo by Mia Kartiganer/UW Election Eye)

EASTSOUND, Wash. — There are few images more quintessentially American than the Fourth of July in a small town.

Children and their grandparents lining the parade route. Hawkers at the Saturday Farmers’ Market. Music playing at the bandshell on the village green. It all came to life again this summer in wonderful, historic rhythm on Orcas Island.

Yet for some residents, this year’s parade held a deeper meaning.

For the first time, members of the Orcas Island Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) community joined friends and allies marching in support of Referendum 74 which, if approved, would allow same-sex couples in Washington state to marry.

The island’s LGBT community is diverse — teachers, public servants, and local business owners. Their participation in the parade was a public show of support for “marriage equality,” a term favored by many political progressives.

Orcas residents Ken Conant and Jim Sankey led the delegation in their 1948 Jeep Willy’s Roadster.

“Jim and I were legally married in California, but we are denied a very basic right here in our home state,” Conant said. “Referendum 74 is about equality for all couples.”

However, there is more to this story than support for approving R-74.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: Orcas Island, R-74, Referendum 74

July 16, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Some conservative evangelical leaders worry about Rob McKenna on same-sex marriage

A referendum to roll back legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington State is a “wild card” in what Politico confirms will be this country’s most closely contested gubernatorial race.

Attorney General & GOP candidate

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna’s lead over Democrat Jay Inslee is now within the margin of error in his bid to become this state’s first Republican governor in 28 years. (Photo courtesy of “McKenna For Governor” campaign)

SEATTLE — The political script playing out for Rob McKenna, the Republican candidate for governor of Washington, is one with which Americans are familiar: uncertainty over trust and a wariness of agendas.

This dynamic is always a challenge for a candidate running for office, particularly when concerns are emerging from voters expected to be a politician’s strongest supporters.

McKenna these days is at odds with some very recognizable conservative evangelical Christians — a voting bloc determined to repeal state legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage.

November’s Referendum 74 proposes to reject a same-sex marriage bill passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire in February.

In an interview with UW Election Eye, McKenna said he wants to make three things perfectly clear:

  1. He voted to expand the rights of domestic partners.
  2. He will not be voting to legalize same-sex marriage this November.
  3. “None of this has anything to do with whether I become governor,” he said.

Joseph Backholm disagrees, and he matters. Backholm is directly responsible for submitting more than twice the number of valid signatures required to put Referendum 74 on the November ballot.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: Antioch Bible Church, attorney general, Christine Gregoire

June 13, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Reverend Oliver White: Minnesota’s reluctant crusader on same-sex marriage

Reverend Oliver White photographed on May 31, 2012. (Photo by A. V. Crofts/ UW Election Eye)

Reverend Oliver White photographed on May 31, 2012. Rev. White has lost members of his congregation due to his beliefs on homosexuality and gay marriage and is facing a daunting debt on the loan of his church building. "I am not a crusader," says White, "But I have become a lightning rod inadvertently."(Photo by A.V. Crofts/ UW Election Eye)

Minnesotans will vote in November on whether to amend their state constitution to define marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman  and Minnesota Reverend Oliver White has taken a controversial stand against it. With the announcement yesterday that Washington State’s Referendum 74, which seeks to overturn the measure legalizing same-sex marriage in the state,  was approved for ballot, the national debate around same-sex marriage is certain to play out in November in our own backyard.

St. Paul, Minn. — Reverend Oliver White is a tall man.

As he folds himself into the restaurant booth for our interview, White maneuvers with the skill of someone used to fitting his frame into tight spaces.

These days, Reverend White is used to occupying tight spaces.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: marriage equality, Minnesota, Referendum 74