Ten Rationalizations for Running a Doomed Referendum Against Domestic Partnerships

UPDATE  I was right – the begging bowl has definitely been passed from Gary Randall to Larry Stickney.  Larry officially filed a referendum today.

Washington state’s legislature recently passed the Domestic Partnership Expansion Bill of 2009 (SB 5688), which makes Washington DPs almost equal to marriage.  The local Professional Christians are having a ball raising money off the event by scaring their followers into believing that DPs will destroy America, etc. etc., assuring that the promised referendum is the only way to save the day, then asking for donations into their coffers rather than the dedicated fund for the referendum.  Slick, huh?

Gary Randall was supposedly the guy “asked to lead” (see his 4/20/2009 diary) a referendum effort to repeal the new DP law.  But since Oregon Gary has been exposed as a carpetbagging, tax-evading, money-grubbing incompetent, it looks like the begging bowl has been passed to Larry Stickney.  Larry, the guy who features campaign failures on his resume, has posted a “rally the troops” piece on his website.  It’s called TEN GOOD REASONS TO RUN A REFERENDUM TO SAVE MARRIAGE NOW!  Yes, he’s the sort to write in caps.  And he lies like no tomorrow.  Read the post and my comments (in green) below the fold.


Quote of the Week

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.”

-Martin Luther

  • Where the battle rages is between the Professional Christians competing for the money in the gullible woman’s wallet.  As for the truth of God, Larry is missing “that little point” about bearing false witness.  Many examples of that below.

    May 2,2009- I was asked yesterday to come up with some good reasons as to why we should run a Referendum to roll back SB 5688  which states that marriage shall apply equally to state registered domestic partnerships. The legislature has already passed 5688 and the Governor says she will sign any day.

  • Larry saying that he was asked only recently to justify a referendum means that he admits that his supporters are starting to doubt his judgment.  Not surprising, since they certainly know that Gary Randall has been exposed as a carpetbagging money grubber, and many others in Larry’s circle begged off of the referendum long ago:  Ken Hutcherson and Joseph Backholm very publicly backed away from a referendum on King5’s Up Front; Joe Fuiten has has to maintain a low profile since he tried to evict retired clergy from their homes.
  • Nothing in SB 5688 says “marriage shall apply equally” to DPs. (Lurleen note: Danna points out below that I was mistaken in the struck statement.  Thank you Danna.  Larry so frequently refers to DPs as marriage that I got tripped up by his moment of honesty!)  Let us be clear about what SB 5688 says and does.  The bill clearly states “[W]ith the exception of chapter 26.04 RCW, the terms spouse, marriage, marital, husband, wife,…shall be interpreted as applying equally to state registered domestic partnerships as well as to marital relationships and married persons…(page 6, Sec 3, line 23)”.  That little exception of 26.04 RCW is vital, because that is the “prohibited marriages” section of state law.  So although DP’d couples will have the legal right to access laws designated for married people and spouses, they will NOT be married.  The governor is NOT signing a marriage bill.  Same-sex couples will NOT be able to get married by a justice of the peace or interested clergy.  None of those things are the case now, nor will they be the case when SB 5688 becomes law.

    Since many people don’t understand all of the ins and outs of certain political maneuvers,  I would like to tell you why our organization, along with many other groups and individuals, believes running a referendum now to turn back SB 5688 presents us with our very best chance to save marriage in Washington!

  • Larry is bearing false witness.  SB 5688 isn’t about marriage, it’s about DPs.    Larry knows that the majority of Washingtonians support DPs but not yet marriage equality, so he must try to confuse the issue by lying that SB 5688 is a marriage bill.

    1. “If we lose marriage, we will lose our culture.” (Senator Sam Brownback, R-KS)

  • Larry is bearing false witness.  SB 5688 isn’t about marriage, it’s about DPs.

    2. By running a Referendum, we are required to gather only half the signatures needed for that of an Initiative.

  • An initiative does require twice the signatures, but you have twice the time to gather them in.  But Larry will never run an initiative attacking the entire DP law because he knows that 66% of Washingtonians support DPs or civil marriage for s-s couples.
  • Larry is making one whopper of a sin of omission by failing to mention that if he runs a referendum this year, he won’t have the full 90 days to collect signatures.  This is because the 90-day signature-gathering clock started ticking April 26th, the day the legislature adjourned.  But Larry can’t file the referendum with the Secretary of State until the governor signs the bill into law.  That may not happen until mid-May.  That’s two weeks lost.  After filing, the Secretary of State needs 7 days to process the request.  Another week gone.  Only then, once the Secretary has agreed that the proposed ballot language is ok, can the anti-equality crew print their petition sheets.  More days lost to the printer.  So at best, Larry only has 65-70 days to collect more signatures than his crew FAILED to collect in 2006.  Larry is taking his donors on a frenzied wild goose chase.
  • Larry neglects to mention the fact that anti-equality forces FAILED to collect enough signatures in 2006 for the referendum to repeal the LGBT anti-discrimination law.  That year, they needed only 112,440 valid signatures.  This year they’ll need 120,577.  The sins of omission are mounting.

    3. A Referendum to roll back SB 5688 (which grants full spousal rights for homosexual couples in everything but the name) will keep the law from going into effect and put the measure in front of the voters in November. If we wait, the new law goes into effect in June and the Defense of Marriage Act will be challenged in the courts and likely overturned this same time next year.  We have no time to waste, we have no other recourse, they are inside the wire.

  • Larry is bearing false witness.  No legal challenge to the state’s DOMA is possible because the Washington State Supreme Court has already ruled that it is constitutional.  Gary Randall recognized the finality of the ruling, stating, “We consider this a decisive victory that upholds the values of the faith community.”.  But the mental image Larry tries to create of gays creeping over the ramparts is certainly a good effort at scaring money from the pockets of frightened women.

    4. Hate crimes laws were enacted within months of the passage of same-sex marriage in Canada.  The federal “Hate Crimes Bill” passed the U.S. House on Thursday of this week.  We may be running out of time to address this issue without fear of jail time.  I believe it would be foolish to wait another 10 months to two years to run an initiative under the current circumstances.

  • Jail time?  Verbalizing homophobia is not and never will be a crime in and of itself.  The 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that.  The real reason he doesn’t want to attempt an initiative is he knows it is just as doomed to failure as a referendum, but twice as expensive.

    5. A Referendum to the people to roll back Senate Bill 5688 would force our opponents to get the “YES” vote, which is always more difficult. People tend to vote “NO” if confused about an issue. I am told that the advantage for the “NO” side can be as high as 9 – 13%.

  • Interesting that Larry admits to banking on confusing the voters by calling DPs marriage.

    6. From a fiscal standpoint, raising money for our side is always a challenge and we expect it will be this year. However, waiting until next year to run an Initiative would be even more difficult in that we would have to compete with important legislative and congressional races. The economic downturn plays no favorites and has hit our opponents as well. The leading homosexual rights group here in Washington has been forced to trim staff.

  • Translation: My pockets are empty.  Please refill them now.  

    7. By running the referendum now, we will not be taking something away from someone. Instead, we are bringing a controversial proposed law to the people of Washington State for ratification or denial.

  • Larry already admitted in #3 that the act of filing a referendum puts enactment of the new law on hold at least until the signature-gathering period is over.  This most certainly would be taking something away: the civil equality that the governor and legislature have already recognized for DP’d couples.

    8. By running a referendum now, we can carry on the momentum we gathered during this year’s session when hundreds packed out the hearing rooms and thousands came to the Stand Up for Marriage Rally on the capitol steps.  We do not know what the political climate will be like next year. Right now, this issue is HOT and front and center with the people of Washington. Your legislators and the folks at the legislative hotline will attest to this.

  • Certainly time is not on Larry’s side, since public support for DPs and marriage equality have grown steadily for years.  If the issue is hot, it’s Larry’s donors who’ll get burned.

    9. I believe that Christians are paying more attention to the issues at hand during these rough economic times (because of a new found reliance on the Lord) and are more willing to get involved in political matters than they were during the good times. Our best volunteer this year had time to help our organization because he was unemployed for many weeks.  It may be that others temporarily out of work will be able to provide a wealth of volunteer time and labor to the referendum campaign.

  • It is unseemly to have a vested interest in people becoming or remaining unemployed, then using scarce cash to run a doomed referendum rather than helping them.

    10. Faith and Freedom Network has up to date polling data by Elway that asked one simple question: “In your opinion, should homosexuals be allowed to legally marry?”A majority said NO. Conclusion: This is a winnable issue for our side and not a fight we should run from.

  • Too bad for Larry that the referendum would be about the most recent DP bill, not marriage.  This is not a winnable issue for Larry’s side.  Donor beware.


    There are scores of courageous men and women who have gone before us to defend liberty.  It is now our turn to take to the battlefield!

  • Larry is confusing “liberty” for “tyranny”.
  • Cross-posted at Washblog.

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