Both sides try to frame Referendum 71 for voters - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Both sides try to frame Referendum 71 for voters

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YAKIMA, Wash. - One of the biggest supporters of the effort to reject the Everything But Marriage Act was in town Friday raising awareness for Referendum 71.

Each side wants to make sure the public is aware of what their vote means now that R-71 will be on the November ballot. 

An "approve" vote would keep the Everything But Marriage Act.  A "reject" vote would overturn it.  Both sides are at odds about what exactly this bill is about.

Kim Brewer is a resident of Selah and supports R-71.  He believes people should vote "approve" because the referendum is about giving all citizens equal benefits.

"It's about a life together as two people and they've made an agreement," said Brewer.  "We are registered domestic partners in the state, we've gone through what was required or offered and I would like to see those rights continue."

Larry Stickney is the president of Washington Values Alliance and advocating a "reject" vote in November.  He believes the referendum threatens the definition of marriage.

"It's a promotion of homosexuality," said Stickney. "If homosexual marriage is actually achieved here in the state of Washington, they'll simply refer to the statute and it will be taught as healthy and normal and on a par with heterosexual marriage."

Stickney was in town Friday to meet with supporters and preparing to hand out flyers.

Those campaigning for the approval of the referendum had their own event in Yakima this week.

State lawmakers passed the Everything But Marriage Domestic Partnership Act earlier this year.  The law gives registered domestic partners more rights, putting them on par with married couples.

In November, voters will decide if they want that Senate bill, SB-5688, to remain state law.

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