R-74 Campaign Hopes For Boost From President’s Marriage Comments

May 10, 2012

Northwest gay rights supporters are cheering President Obama’s comments that he thinks same sex couples should be able to marry. But organizers of a petition drive to repeal Washington’s new marriage equality law hope to capitalize on the President’s new stance.

Referendum 74 is the name of the repeal measure in Washington. Backers say so far they’ve collected 70,000 signatures. That’s fewer than half the total the campaign hopes to submit to ensure the measure makes it on the November ballot. The deadline is June 6th.

R-74 will give Washington voters a chance to affirm or repeal a law passed by state lawmakers earlier this year. It would allow same-sex couples to marry.

Joseph Backholm manages the R-74 campaign. He says the President coming out in support of gay marriage may actually help. “Because this will galvanize our base of folks who don’t want marriage redefined."

But gay rights supporters think the President’s comments about how he came to support same-sex marriage will appeal to voters who themselves are conflicted on the issue. This week voters in North Carolina overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.