Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:00 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The competition among counties to issue the first same-sex marriage license in Washington is heating up. Monday, one county auditor held a lottery to select the first ten couples who will receive their license just after midnight on Thursday.
Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman -- who is also Secretary of State-elect -- heard Seattle’s King County intended to issue the first license.
Marriage certificates in Washington state will look a little different next month. Terms like bride and groom will be out. The Department of Health wants to use something more gender-neutral, now that same–sex marriage is legal. The agency is taking suggestions at a public hearing on Wednesday.
The latest TV ad from same-sex marriage opponents in Washington focuses on school children, warning “schools could teach that boys could marry boys.”
The ad mirrors those that ran in other states when gay marriage came up for a vote, notably when Prop 8 was on California’s 2008 ballot. Campaign strategists on both sides agree the “schools ad" has been a game changer.
Earlier this year, Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire signed a bill allowing marriage rights for same-sex couples. Opponents gathered enough signatures to force a public referendum, and the law was put on hold. Now, it's up to voters to decide. If Referendum 74 is approved, Washington state will be the first in the country to uphold gay marriage at the ballot box. Should same-sex couples have the same rights to marry as straight couples? Author and civic entrepreneur Eric Liu and Preserve Marriage Washington spokesman Chip White join us.
Some senior citizens in Washington recently got a flyer in the mail from same-sex marriage supporters. It says approval of Referendum 74 will preserve domestic partnerships for seniors. Gay marriage opponents call the ad a misleading scare tactic.
The campaign backing same-sex marriage paid for the mailer. It’s targeting seniors because Referendum 74 touches on domestic partnerships between straight couples who are are 62 or older and living together.
Ballots go out in Washington and Oregon at the end of the week of October 15. Last minute money is pouring into the ballot fight over same–sex marriage in Washington. Those dollars are buying television ads on both sides of the issue. So what claims are the campaigns making? Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins takes a closer look.