I hear that a lot of people in Washington state don't know about Referendum 71, which will be on the ballot there next month.
This is the referendum over Washington's new marriage-in-all-but-name domestic partnerships. Washington passed a bill to make domestic partnerships the legal equivalent of marriage in May of this year, but it hasn't gone into effect yet; and if R-71 fails, domestic partnerships there will remain watered down.
The latest polling has R-71 at a 51% "Approved" vote, which is an awfully close margin to rely on. (The Approved side is the pro-domestic-partnership and pro-same-sex-couples side.)
In Washington, same-sex couples can't get married. But with this new DP status, they would have all the legal rights and responsibilities of marriage.
So if you live in Washington state, I urge you to do two things:
- Go to the polls next month and vote Approved on Referendum 71, to confirm strong domestic partnerships.
- Talk with your friends and neighbors about it. Make sure people know that R-71 is on the ballot; make sure they know it's important to pass it; and make sure they know that an Approved vote confirms strong domestic partnerships.