UPDATE: Preserve Marriage Washington Concedes Likely Approval of Gay Marriage

New vote totals Thursday showed the gap widening in favor of Referendum 74. The main group fighting against Washington's same-sex marriage ballot measure, Preserve Marriage Washington, conceded Thursday.

The main group fighting against Washington's same-sex marriage ballot measure, Preserve Marriage Washington, conceded Thursday afternoon, saying it believes Referendum 74 would be narrowly approved.

And updated vote totals released Thursday evening showed the gap widening in favor of the measure, with 52.44 percent approving and 47.56 percent rejecting it, according to the Secretary of State's office as of 4:44 p.m.

Joseph Backholm, Chairman of Preserve Marriage Washington, released this statement: 

“With added results showing that we have not closed the gap, it now appears clear that Referendum 74 will be narrowly approved. We are disappointed in losing a tough election battle on marriage by a narrow margin. But while we are disappointed, we are not defeated.  We are fighting for a cause that is true, and beautiful, and right—the sacred institution of marriage.  It’s a cause worth fighting for, and we will continue to educate citizens and policymakers on the timeless truth that real marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

We knew this was not going to be an easy fight.  Washington is a deep blue state and one of the most secular states in the country.  Washington has a very high percentage of voters who never attend church, and polling showed that 80 percent of unchurched voters approved of Referendum 74.  On top of that, our opponents had a giant financial advantage, outspending us by $10 million, so the odds became even more difficult.  Plus, we were fighting Washington’s political establishment and news media—with The Seattle Times taking the unprecedented step of not just endorsing the referendum, but of actively campaigning for its approval.  Nevertheless, we ran a strong campaign that we can be proud of—a campaign based on honesty and integrity.

Our opponents and some in the media will try to portray this election as a turning point, but it’s not a turning point to win on your home turf.  The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in this very liberal and secular state.  The results show only that in a deep blue state, with a huge financial advantage, gay marriage activists can win—barely.  Further, the results indicate that a significant percentage of Washington voters are troubled by redefining marriage.  Washingtonians know that women and men are not interchangeable—that children need both a mother and a father—and this election does not represent a sea change in their understanding of that reality.

We are grateful for the support of tens of thousands of volunteers who stood for the timeless truth that real marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Preserve Marriage Washington is a coalition of community and faith groups and citizens who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman. For more information, visit www.PreserveMarriageWashington.com.

Washington gay marriage supporters declared victory Wednesday, saying they've crunched the numbers and that the "no" votes can't overcome the "yes" votes at this stage of the counting.

“This is a clear win,” said campaign manager Zach Silk, in a prepared statement on the Washington United for Marriage website

Jackson November 08, 2012 at 09:59 PM
If you don't like how "deep blue" and secular Washington is, move to Idaho. You guys will fit right in there. We don't want you here anyway
Jackson November 08, 2012 at 10:00 PM
If you don't like how "deep blue" and secular Washington is, move to Idaho. You guys will fit right in there. We don't want you here anyway
Tom November 08, 2012 at 10:28 PM
What a bunch of sour grapes spin! The odds were against R74 passing - in fact, marriage equality had been defeated at the polls 32 times prior to this election - and it won four times! What's more important than "timeless truth" is recognizing that every person has the same rights under our laws and Constitution.
Aretha Alexander November 08, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I wish people would stop hiding behind religion when they want to demonize people that do not act like them, look like them, or believe what they believe. We pay taxes like everyone else, and I should not have to ask or vote on rights that I should have as an adult. Marriage is between two consenting adults that love each other.
bigyaz November 08, 2012 at 11:01 PM
It's not just Washington. Now it's also Maine, it's Maryland, it's happening all over the country. You can keep swimming against the tide and fomenting fear and hate, or you can show some of that Christian love and treat others as you yourself would like to be treated.
Ann November 09, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Just what I was thinking! Thanks for posting Aretha.
employee November 09, 2012 at 03:20 AM
The people from Perserve Marriage Washington are not interested in civil rights. They only are interested in changing the idea of separation of church and state. They wish to gain mainstream acceptance that Cristianity is America's only relevant religion. Washington voters disagreed, they lost this one, but trust me, these people are fanatic in thier believe and will, as all fanatics, never give up. Its my hope that Wa. voters stay informed and stand up to all religious zealots.
Joe Dokes November 09, 2012 at 03:49 AM
This election has been a turning point. At last a nation that observes God knows that He is on the side of goodness and equality and fairness. Jesus never spoke against same sex love; if it had been an issue He would have done so . . .
Sara November 09, 2012 at 03:59 AM
This whole fight over marriage equality is interesting. The country has seen this before in the 60s during the racial civil rights movement and in many other movements before that. Remember religious rhetoric was always part of the opposition. I imagine it wouldn't be any different now. Marriage equality for gays and lesbians is goiing to happen for all- in the "deep blue" states and the not so "blue" states. It's just a matter of time.-
Nancy Cunningham November 09, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Hypocrite: 1. A person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion. 2. A person who acts in contradiction to his or her religious beliefs. 34% of abortions are done by Catholics.
Bryan November 09, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Sara and all. I believe that you are correct. It is going to pass just as you say it wil. I know because the Bible predicted it. I have a booklet reprinted from 1890 where it predicts Chrisitanity was going to fall under the control of Babylon and then listed all of the marks of Babylon. This is one one of them. I remember showing this pamphlet to my gradfather in 1985 and he thought is was rediculous and typical crazy religious talk. He changed his tune at the age of 94 a few years back.
Nancy Cunningham November 09, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Gay marriage will reduce the number of abortions. It will probably take a year or two for pot smokers to realize the law was even changed. The president isn't what's wrong with the country, it's the House and Congress, so what difference did it make who won? Am I missing something here?
Nick November 09, 2012 at 08:02 AM
Nancy, Homosexual marriage will not reduce the number of abortions. The actual number will continue to climb as it has ever since it was legalized.You are aware that the pro-abortion advocates accused the anti-abortion advocates of needlessly creating fear by suggesting that abortions would eventually be allowed for any reason. They said it was rediculous to suggest this and it was just a scare tactic to get people to be opposed to abortion. Well guess what?
Nick November 09, 2012 at 08:19 AM
That simply is not true. Jesus chose 12 Apostles and sent his spirit into them to inspire them with his teaching. Through them he clearly taught that homosexual practice is sin. Jn 16:12-15; 1Cor 2:9-13; 2Cor 5:20; 1Cor 14:37; 1Cor 6:9-11
Tony Dondero November 09, 2012 at 08:41 AM
Some economists, including the authors of Freakanomics, have noted that crime rates are down in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade.
Nick November 09, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Doubtful, last week main stream media reported that violent crime went up 18% last year. Or was it during the last four years? I need to google it.
Nick November 09, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Here is a link to violent crime going up last year 22%: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/17/us/violent-crime/index.html
Harborite November 09, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Even if gays are able to "marry"...it can never be a true marriage. They need to come up with their own term for their relationship. Use the word marriage only for the union of a man and a woman. Maybe the term partnership with all the advantages that marriage gives us. Course with marriage..many will also get to suffer the insults of divorce too. They know not what they ask :o)
Priya Sinha November 09, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Jeanie November 09, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Joe, to add along to Nick's comments, which is absolutely true, Jesus did talk about marriage being between a man and a woman in Matthew 19:5. If you read the book of Genesis, especially chapter and verse 24, you will see the God Himself created marriage and spells it out very well in Genesis 2:24 that marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and a woman. Jeanie
Sara November 11, 2012 at 06:51 AM
Do you seriously believe that God will judge someone for loving a person of the same sex but not judge you for hating a person you never met?
Edward A. November 11, 2012 at 07:44 AM
Yes, he (or she) does. Remember, this isn't the God of actual New Testament we are talking about -- it is the Republican "God."
Nick November 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM
I am not sure who you are accusing of hating or how you define hating. If you are suggesting that because someone believes what the bible says about homosexuality that they are hating then you are wrong. I personally do not hate anyone but I do stand up for the moral ethics taught in the New Testament. I hate the sins of drunkeness, adultry and homosexuality to name a few but I do not hate those commiting such sins. They need the Gospel as much as I do. FYI, God embraces all those who believe everything his New Testament says and he is not likely to care if they are Republican or Democrat or independent or heaven forbid NO POLITICAL AFFILIATION AT ALL. :) I do think he is not happy about those who think the New Testament is a smorgasbord in which one embraces some of his teaching and rejects whatever he does not agree with. If that is really what a person is doing then they should just follow themselves and leave the New Testament out of it.
Alan Brittenham November 16, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Here's an unasked question for Mitt Romney: If the definition of marriage is between one man and one woman, what does that say about your Grandfather with his 3 wives and 35 children in Mexico? Did all those aunts and uncles give you presents for Christmas every year? And for those of you stuck in the Old Testament, how many wives did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have at the same time? And if Adam and Eve were the only humans in the world, and their son Cain was third after he killed his brother and ran off into the wilderness to found a separate nation, who did he marry? Where did the women come from to begin all the begetting? Did they marry their sisters? :-{)}
PacNrthWst November 16, 2012 at 03:03 AM
It is important for both sides to remember that tolerance is not acceptance.
dexterjibs November 16, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Alan, kind of a stupid question since he is not President, nor is he a Senator, Congressman, Supreme Court Justice or Governor. I think the better question is, "Hey, President Obummer, when will you grow a pair and tell us what you actually believe about Sodomites marrying instead of flip flopping every few years?" But, i am guessing Alan that you do not have a pair to question any Democrat politician.
dexterjibs November 16, 2012 at 06:36 AM
Sara, Rosa Parks and MLK roll over in their grave when people like you compare their civil rights struggle of people that were born black to the so called civil rights struggle of people who choose to fornicate with people of the same sex. What is next, the civil rights struggle of people who engage in sex acts with animals or minors? Get real.


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