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In Washington, anti-marriage foes submit signatures to put law on ballot

SEATTLE – Anti-marriage opponents in Washington state today submitted signatures to bring the freedom to marry to a vote on the November ballot following the passage of a marriage bill earlier this year, which was signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire and scheduled to go into effect later this week.

The signatures must be certified before the issue can be placed on the ballot.

The rabidly anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has pledged at least $1 million to the anti-marriage forces in Washington, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, said marriage equality supporters would fight back.

“During the week in which loving and committed same-sex couples in Washington were preparing to share in the joy of the first marriage ceremonies in the state, anti-gay advocates have decided instead to submit signatures forcing them to put a hold on their happiness and fend off a referendum on whether or not they can get married," Solomon said.

“We know that Washingtonians believe in freedom and fairness, and a majority want to see all people share in the joy and responsibilities of marriage. As an active partner in Washington United for Marriage, Freedom to Marry will work tirelessly to ensure that voters hear the stories, and learn about the lives of, loving and committed same-sex couples from Washington. We are confident that, as they do, they will conclude that a vote to take away their freedom to marry is out of sync with the Golden Rule values that all Washingtonians hold.”

Washington is part of Freedom to Marry’s Win More States Fund, which will raise and spend at least $3 million in crucial marriage campaigns in 2012. These funds contribute to grassroots organizing, television and radio spots, new media programs and public education.

About Freedom to Marry

Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities and commitment that marriage brings.