Ref. 74 in the lead, but “too soon to tell”

Same-sex marriage supporters watch election results at nYne Bar & Bistro.
Same-sex marriage supporters watch election results at nYne Bar & Bistro.

It’s not official yet, but with the looks of things there could be lots of wedding bells sounding on Dec. 9 — the day same-sex marriage certificates can formally be signed in Washington State.

As of midnight, with half of the expected ballots turned in, Referendum 74 was passing with 52 percent of the vote, according to the Washington Secretary of State.

In Spokane, same-sex marriage supporters gathered at nYne Bar and Bistro to watch election results. As news came in that Ref. 74 was in the lead, Councilman Jon Snyder addressed the crowd and thanked them for their advocacy.

Councilman Jon Snyder announces Ref. 74 is in the lead.
Councilman Jon Snyder announces Ref. 74 is in the lead.

“All the results aren’t in, but it’s looking very, very good,” he said. “We’re lifting the veil of discrimination in Spokane and Spokane County. With 52 percent it’s too early to call, but it’s a profound effort no matter what happens.”

According to the Spokane County Elections Office, 43.2 percent of local voters voted to approve Ref. 74 and 56.8 percent voted against it. 

“Spokane County has become much more progressive,” said Shar Lichty, of the Peace and Justice Action League.

In 2009, when Washington voted on domestic partnership laws, 39 percent of Spokane County voted to approve the measure.

“So far we’re beating 2009 and that’s an astounding thing,” Snyder said.

That’s in part, he said, because of the efforts of Washington United for Marriage, which Snyder said he believes may have drawn in the most volunteers for a ballot measure in the state’s history.

The day before the election Washington United for Marriage volunteers made 100,00 phone calls and in the week prior to the election knocked on 100,000 doors. The campaign had 5,000 active volunteers, 80 percent who were Washington state residents. The campaign raised more than $10 million, with the average donation hovering around $25.

Dean Lynch, former City Councilman, said same-sex couples need to remember that many of Washington United for Marriage volunteers were supporters of the gay community, who deserve to be recognized.

“We need to remember our allies who did the legwork,” he said, “ who made the extra phone calls. We need to remember our friends who helped us.”

A sign sits at the Democratic celebration.
A sign sits at the Democratic celebration.

Andy Billig, who won the third district state senate seat, said voters should celebrate their victories, but added that if Ref. 74 does pass in Washington, same-sex marriage is still illegal in most U.S. states.

“There’s more work to do,” he said.

According to the Associated Press, Gay marriage won approval from voters in Maine and Maryland on election night, and in Minnesota voters rejected a ban on same-sex marriage.

The Spokane County Elections Office will continue to count ballots through Wednesday and will release another update at 6 p.m.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

You may be interested in these periodic mailings, too. Check any or all to subscribe.


Check Also

george soros

Call It Soros-Phobia

George Soros, the wealthy Hungarian-American financier and philanthropist, is the bogey man of the American right wing. They trace whatever they don’t like about liberalism or progressive politics back to Soros’ imaginary machinations. Soros is the puppet-master. George Soros is a Jew. These are antisemitic conspiracy theories.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x