With the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the repeal of Prop 8 and the passage of Bill 6239 in Washington state, rights for gay and lesbian Americans have changed in the past few months.
Gov. Christine Gregoire signed Bill 6239 into law on Feb. 13. This bill could enable same-sex couples to get married in Washington state, but it looks like the decision will be left to the voters of Washington.
Paperwork for Referendum 73, to repeal Bill 6239, was handed in the same day Bill 6239 was signed.
“I want to emphasize that we fully expect this issue is going to end up on the ballot,” Michael Martin, Pierce County organizer for Washington United for Marriage (the coalition that supported Bill 6239) said.
The opposing parties will have 90 days from the governor’s signing to collect more than 120,000 signatures to get their referendum on the ballot this November.
The referendum is supported by national organizations like the National Organization for marriage and local organizations like Family Policy of Washington.
These organizations find Bill 6239 a threat to their religious freedom and their concepts of family and parenting.
“We prepare leaders, we work to impart a biblical worldview for those committed to Judeo-Christian truths, encourage informed citizenship through awareness of current issues addressing the family and an awareness of what each of us can do about it,” says Family Policy of Washington’s Mission Statement from their website.
The bill addresses religious freedom in Section One, when it states “No official of any religious denomination or nonprofit institution authorized to solemnize marriages may be required to solemnize any marriage in violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
The U.S. Ninth District Court repealed of Proposition 8 on Feb. 8. Proposition a ban against same-sex marriage in California.
The court ruled that the proposition was unconstitutional against the 14th Amendment of the United States.
If enough signatures are collected and checked for a referendum, Washington voters would decide to keep or repeal Bill 6239 after November ballots are confirmed.
If the referendum repealed same-sex marriage in Washington state would a higher court overturn it in unification with the repeal of Proposition 8?