With all the discussion around Referendum 74, and its passive aggressive wording (reminder, APPROVE REF 74!), Initiative 1192 sorta slipped through the news cracks until Tuesday when it was announced that they had failed to gather enough signatures to get it onto the November ballot.
What I-1192 would have sought to do is to legally define marriage as existing only between one man and one woman. This sort of legislative tapdance has been a VERY popular solution for many states as a way to make an end run around legalizing marriage equality.
Initiative 1192 is also an excellent example of 1) why civil rights like marriage equality shouldn’t be put up to popular vote ANYWHERE, and should simply be legislated by the politicians that we elect – that’s their job after all – to protect the rights of their constituency…which is exactly what Christine Gregoire attempted to do. And 2) why religious organizations need to be checked when it comes to being involved in politics. Initiative 1192 was launched by Stephen Pidgeon, an Everett attorney and Republican Washington Attorney General candidate who is running on a platform that seeks to promote and defend Christian Biblical teachings as a manner of governance. If you visit his website, you’ll see that one of the matters he wishes to address is to “Protect pastors from persecution”. After all, those poor Christian Pastors have been the target of SO MUCH persecution, what with people trying to prevent them from marrying the person that they want to marry. Oh wait? That never happened? Oh right…
Again, religion has no place in politics and governance – and frankly, vice versa. Maybe it’s time for a little lesson on the First Amendment, okay? Here it is, if you need a refresher:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We pay a lot of attention, as a nation, to the last part. We LOVE to complain – we LOVE petition the government for a redress of our grievances – that’s how Initiatives and Referendums happen. That’s why we have satire. That’s why we have the Daily Show.
For now, this is a solid victory in the march toward civil equality. Now, let’s get Referendum 74 passed, and move ourselves forward, shall we?
If you aren’t already, CLICK HERE and register to vote. And vote to Approve Ref 74.