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0 for 32


That is not the Seattle Mariners record for the month of July (bless the continued existence of the Kansas City Royals) but the win/loss record for same sex marriage in the league of direct democracy.

This streak might change in November.  Washington’s Referendum 74 will either uphold (a yes vote) the same sex marriage law passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Gregoire this past February, or Prop 8 it (a no vote).  According to the NYT today, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos have pledged $2.5 million to the Washington United for Marriage campaign in support of basic civil rights.  Added to previous donations, WUM now has over $5 million raised for the pro Referendum 74 campaign.  The opposition hope to raise $4 million, but according to the wiki page on Ref 74 have fallen somewhat short of this goal (if $132,000 can be considered somewhat short of $4M).

Polling is likewise in favor of Ref 74.  In addition to the three listed on the wiki page (+1%, +21%, +9%), Elway released a poll a few days ago that reports a 10 point lead, but as often occurs with these, there might be some confusion at the margins regarding the meaning of a yes or no vote.

Very, very good news on balance.

UPDATE 1: As commenter John reminds us, there are also ballot propositions in Maryland, Minnesota, and Maine.

UPDATE 2: if you would like to match the Bezos family donation, you can do so here.

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  • MAJeff

    There was one win, in Arizona. Then they came back after removing language that would have harmed all the elderly people living together outside of wedlock. Passed once the old people were exempted.

    • Dave Brockington

      All I know about is Proposition 102, which amended the state constitution in AZ in the opposite direction in ’08, which is where AZ law now stands. Ah, you’re thinking of the constitutional amendment that narrowly failed in 2006?

      • MAJeff


  • John

    Three other states – Maryland, Minnesota, and Maine – also have gay marriage referenda this fall. They warrant at least a mention.

  • Spuddie

    All I have to say is there is $$$ in equal rights

    If same-sex marriage rights were granted nationwide, same-sex weddings would generate a net $1 billion each year for the Federal budget over the next 10 years

  • James E. Powell

    This shows one difference among many between the American people and the American voters. See also, 2010 mid-term elections.

    Also too, it seems like a tough sell to get someone to go out and vote to extend or guarantee some one else’s rights. Expressing bigotry, or fear of the unknown, or solidarity with tradition, all seem to be more powerful.

  • Spuddie

    Kinda makes me wonder what the results would be for a popular vote to overturn the Civil Rights Act.

    • James E. Powell

      Nothing but Big Brother government, protection for people who don’t want to work, and job-killing regulations. It would get less than 20% of the vote.

      • James E. Powell

        Also too, trial lawyers!

      • Joe

        That’s kind of hard to imagine — I reckon nearly all blacks would vote for it and yeah there are some liberal voters left.

        • Spuddie

          My guess 30-40% for it, 60-70% against it.

  • Michigan got sucked into Rove’s bash-the-gays-to-keep-the-White-House scam in 2004 and voted in a constitutional amendment banning something almost no one was advocating at the time. But I’ve been out in rural Michigan this week, deep Red country where I saw a couple of nasty anti-Obama messages, and there are rainbow flags in places where they probably weren’t in 2004. Heartening to see.

  • Anonymous

    Of course this is only speculation, but I strongly suspect if it were ever put to a popular vote in MA, marriage rights would be upheld. Luckily, that’s highly unlikely to ever happen (the vote, that is, not the upholding of the rights).

  • Murc

    Jeff Bezos is pretty scummy, but in this instance he is certainly on the side of the angels.

    • Spuddie

      I was thinking the same thing.

      But also there is a bit of bottom line thinking. As a major employer in the state, he wants to keep the personal tribulations of employees from impeding work.

      Boeing and Microsoft also made similar contributions. I guess most of the major WA employers were on board for it.

    • MPAVictoria

      The man treats his workers like slaves. Is he really the sort of person we want on “our” side?

      • No, but we need his money. The purity pony won’t be contributing any of his pot of gold to media buys.

        • rye

          Similar to gay-unfriendly voters in differing circumstances. Interestingly,
          if you search for “gay wash” Bezos’ donation is the first link. The google is very shrewd.

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