I hate to say it, but I agree with Bruce Ramsey and Rev. Joe Fuiten. Sorta.
In May, the Rev. Joe Fuiten of Cedar Park Church, Bothell, appealed to his fellow conservative Christians not to challenge the state’s new domestic-partnership law for same-sex couples.
Yes, they could collect signatures and put the law on the ballot and hope to overturn it. That is the right of referendum. But the polls, he said, “show us behind.” Fuiten warned: “If we make a referendum effort and fail, the other side will conclude the public is with them.”
Yes, they will — and the fight will be over.
The bird-in-the-hand side of me would have preferred R-71 hadn’t qualified for the ballot (and in fact, I’m not entirely convinced it legitimately did), but I nonetheless believe that it stands a strong chance of passing. And if it does, it will rightly be perceived as a referendum on full-blown same-sex marriage itself.
How could it not? The anti-gay-rights forces will use the slippery slope argument as they always do, when they’re not outright misrepresenting the measure as doing more than it really does. And by branding the bill as the “Everything But Marriage Act,” the pro-gay-right side has virtually assured that the measure will be conflated with same-sex marriage in the minds of many voters… “don’t think of an elephant,” and all that.
So while R-71 really doesn’t give same-sex couples the same rights the rest of us enjoy, its passage at the polls would likely give legislators the backbone they need to move faster toward that final step. And as a connoisseur of irony, that’s an outcome I sure would enjoy.