Muslims Join Fight to Protect Marriage in Washington State


The Seattle Times:

With less than two weeks to go, organizers of the Referendum 74 campaign to roll back the state's same-sex-marriage law say they have surpassed the minimum number of signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot — with thousands more rolling in each day.

Some of that support is coming in from an unexpected place: Muslims, who as a community have traditionally remained silent on the question of gay marriage.

In recent weeks, several area mosques have requested thousands of Ref. 74 petitions to circulate among their members, and through November, Muslims plan to campaign alongside religious conservatives seeking to overturn the law.

On Wednesday, Preserve Marriage Washington, which is seeking to repeal the gay-marriage law with backing from the National Organization for Marriage, was reporting 127,211 signatures — 6,634 names more than the minimum required to qualify for the ballot. Organizers need to get — and the Secretary of State encourages — at least 150,000 signatures to ensure a sufficient number of them are from qualified registered voters.

"The number is changing daily," campaign manager Joseph Backholm said. "It's now only a question of whether we'll have time to count them all and stick the number on our website every day."