Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Conservatives divided over referendum to repeal Washington's domestic partnership law

06/08/09 LA Times:

Washington Governor Chris Gregorie recently signed
the state's domestic partnership law (Senate Bill 5688). According to the Times, the law

has been dubbed the "everything but marriage" bill. When it takes effect in July, it will expand previous domestic partnership laws to include issues like adoption, child support, pensions and other public-employee benefits.

The Times describes a campaign within "the Christian conservative community" to repeal the law by referendum. Participants have started collecting petition signatures. But the Times reports that

some conservatives fear that public support for domestic partnership rights and a preoccupation with the economy could doom the effort -- and make it harder to battle same-sex marriage down the road.

Same-sex partners tend to view domestic partnerships as inherently unequal. Nevertheless, as I have suggested elsewhere, even more limited domestic partnership laws have the potential to weaken public support for statutory and constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Divisions among opponents of same-sex marriage show their concern over whether their reaction to domestic partnerships can do more harm than good to their long-term goal of sustaining such bans.

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