Time’s running out on Ref. 71 — the election is on Tuesday. If you haven’t already voted, and for some reason are still on the fence on Ref. 71 — perhaps this short interview with Adam Bass of the Approve Ref. 71 campaign will help!
Kittysneezes: What are the biggest challenges the Approve Ref. 71 campaign faces?
Adam Bass: This is an off-year election, and making sure people vote is the biggest challenge. We know that people support lesbian and gay couples having the protections that domestic partnerships provide, but if people don’t vote, the result won’t reflect that support. It’s important people vote in this election, and mail their ballot today.
Kittysneezes: Is there anything that you think most people might not know about Ref.
71? Ramifications people might not realize if it fails?
Adam Bass: If Referendum 71 is rejected, it will actually take rights away from people. The domestic partnership law passed by a vote of our elected representatives in the legislature, it received the governor’s signature, so if we fail to approve Referendum 71, it will actually take away these protections. We should vote to Approve Referendum 71, and keep the state’s domestic partnership law.
Kittysneezes: On the road to election day, have there been any pleasant surprises in
Adam Bass: It’s incredibly exciting to see how supportive people are, and how much people are willing to chip in and help with the efforts to see this referendum approved. Surprises? There are tons of surprises in the small and large ways that each individual volunteer gives of his or her time to help committed couples in Washington keep their domestic partnership law intact.
Kittysneezes: If the unthinkable happens, and Ref. 71 fails, what’s the next step
Adam Bass: That’s a question for Equal Rights Washington. At the Approve 71 campaign, we’re devoting all our energy into seeing Referendum 71 approved.
Kittysneezes: What’s the difference between marriage and the domestic partnerships
that Ref. 71 keeps legalized?
Adam Bass: There are many, many differences. Differences 1-1,000+ are the federal rights that come with a heterosexual marriage that domestic partnerships have no access to. However, one must look no farther than California to see the difference. In that state, Proposition 8 took away the right of gay couples to marry, but gay couples there still have all the protections that Washington couples will keep if we approve Referendum 71. It would be outrageous to think that gay couples in Washington would have fewer protections than in Oregon and California – which is what would happen if we reject 71.
Kittysneezes: The most emphasis on Ref. 71 is on same sex couples — are they the
only ones affected by the law?
Adam Bass: Some senior citizens can’t get married, or they’ll lose their pension benefits. Seniors are sometimes forced between getting married and losing their only source of income – or staying single and not having the rights that come with marriage. Domestic partnerships in Washington allow senior couples to have these rights, without losing their pensions. It’s wrong to take these rights away from seniors, which is just another reason to Approve Referendum 71.
Kittysneezes: What effect do you think Ref. 71 will have on the national level?
Adam Bass: It is important for people throughout the country to know that Washingtonians support lesbian and gay couples in committed relationships. It’ll send a message throughout the country that regardless of your sexual orientation, you’re valued in Washington. I hesitate to think what message that rejecting 71 might send.
Kittysneezes: What do you think about the court cases about releasing the names of
the people who signed the petition to get Ref. 71 on the ballot in the
Adam Bass: The Approve 71 campaign supports existing campaign and public disclosure laws. We are continually surprised by those who want to take away the legal protections of gay couples trying to throw out laws that have been on the books to advance their political cause. We should all play by the rules – and the Approve 71 campaign is – and it’s really sad that the opposition keeps trying to get rules tossed out that are simply inconvenient for them.
Kittysneezes: What can people do to help get the word out about Ref. 71?
Adam Bass: Vote. Vote today if you live in Washington. Vote to APPROVE Referendum 71. Then tell everyone you know to vote approve on Referendum 71. Tell EVERYONE you know, including that person on Facebook that you hardly know, but lives in Washington. Then visit www.Approve71.org to see what else you can do.
Kittysneezes: Ref. 71 is one of the issues where it seems that religion plays a big
role — how would you address faith-based concerns?
Adam Bass: Many faith leaders have endorsed the Approve 71 campaign. There are many faith leaders who support keeping the state’s domestic partnership law. People like to draw religion into this conversation, but at the end of the day, there thousands of people of faith supporting the Approve. It’s an issue of fairness that people of all faiths can support.
Kittysneezes: Is there anything else that we should know about Ref. 71?
Adam Bass: We are very short on time, see what you can do to support Approve 71 at our website, www.Approve71.org.