Same Sex Marriage opponents get enough signatures for Ref. 74 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Same Sex Marriage opponents get enough signatures for Ref. 74 to go to a vote

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Same-sex marriage opponents say they have gathered enough signatures to put Referendum 74 on the November ballot.

Failing the measure would overturn the civil marriage law approved by lawmakers and signed by Governor Gregoire this February.

Backers of R-74 need to turn in 120,577 valid voter signatures by next Wednesday in order to qualify for the ballot.
The secretary of state's office recommends that campaigns submit about 150,000 signatures in order to provide a cushion for invalid or duplicate signatures.

Preserve Marriage Washington organizers say they've surpassed the 150,000 signatures and hope to turn in about 200,000 before June 6th.

"Well ultimately this does give the voters the chance to make their opinion matter," says Anne Berkey the regional Tri-Cities coordinator for Preserve Marriage Washington.  She says more than 50 volunteers have been working at grocery stores, events, rallies to get the signatures.

Mark Lee, who helps with the Washington United For Marriage Campaign says he's not surprised, but doesn't think civil rights issues should be up for vote.  "Don't we want to support everyone, in a way that's fair?  Not say everyone gets to vote on the rights of a minority. That doesn't even feel right to me, says Lee.

Lee says while he believes most Washingtonians do support Civil Marriage, he's worried about people turning out to the polls come November.