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WA Anti-Equality Campaigns Using NOM-Approved Talking Points

February 22, 2012 10:42 am ET by Carlos Maza

Anti-gay groups in Washington have pledged to fight to repeal Washington state’s recently enacted marriage equality law, but they’re being challenged over the language of their proposed initiatives.

There are currently two separate campaigns to repeal the state’s marriage equality law. One, led by attorney general candidate Stephen Pidgeon, is Initiative 1192. The initiative asks voters to say “yes” to a new measure defining marriage as being between one man and one woman and has until July 6 to obtain 241,154 signatures from supporters.

A second effort, led by the Family Policy Institute of Washington’s (FPIW) Joseph Blackholm, is Referendum 74, which asks voters to reject the recently-passed marriage equality law. That effort only has until June 6 to collect 120,577 signatures.

Both campaigns have come under criticism for their proposed language.

Pidgeon, for example, wants Initiative 1192 to “define marriage as between one man and one woman,” language that the American Civil Liberties Union has criticized as inaccurate:

The ACLU and Legal Voice argued Wednesday in Thurston County Superior Court that with the recent passage of same-sex marriage legislation, the initiative language is now inaccurate. It fails, the organizations say, to acknowledge that marriage in Washington is no longer restricted to opposite-sex couples.

Referendum 74 faces similar opposition – the referendum’s current language states that the marriage equality law would redefine marriage,” a typical anti-gay talking point. Zach Silk, spokesman for Washington United for Marriage, criticized the wording, arguing:

‘Redefine marriage’ does not appear anywhere in the bill, but it is a phrase that is prominently featured in highly charged political communication from our opponents. In fact, there is ample evidence that this phrase is literally out of their playbook.

Neither effort, of course, accurately identifies the issue being presented to voters – whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to legally marry. Instead, both measures use language specifically recommended by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which warns that talking about “banning same-sex marriage” “causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls.”

NOM may have a point, too. In a recent survey, when asked plainly if they would vote to repeal or keep a law allowing gays and lesbians to marry, a strong majority of Washington respondents answered in favor of keeping the marriage equality law.

NOM has already pledged to get involved with anti-equality efforts in Washington, including spreading misinformation about “gay indoctrination” in public schools. It’s no surprise, then, that the group’s approved language has made its way into the state’s anti-equality efforts.

Previously:

NOM Pledges To Peddle “Gay Indoctrination” Talking Point In Washington State

WA's Ken Hutcherson: "Unrepentant" Homosexuality Will Kill You, Is Unnatural

WA Family Policy Institute Promotes Claim That Gay Parents Molest Their Children, Turn Kids Gay




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