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Saturday, November 3, 2012 - Page updated at 10:00 a.m.

Editorial: Referendum 74’s canned opposition

Preserve Marriage Washington. Preserve, indeed. The campaign’s canned arguments against Referendum 74 have long passed their pull dates.

PMW’s television commercials to reject the state’s same-sex marriage law regurgitate themes from other campaigns. The repudiated ads have no shelf life.

The effort is to frighten Washington voters with hints of lawsuits that lurk in the future if Referendum 74 is approved.

In one ad, a Vermont couple tells the tale of being sued for refusing to host a same-sex wedding reception. As the Portland Press Herald noted to its Maine audience who got the same pitch, the lawsuit had nothing to do with same-sex marriage and everything to do with Vermont’s 1992 laws against discrimination in public accommodations.

Washington state passed a similar law, ESHB 2661, in 2006 that has the same prohibitions against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation because of sexual orientation and gender identify. Heard any alarm bells and sirens about lawsuits?

The other piece of artful propaganda is about a Canadian broadcaster who was supposedly fired because of a tweet in opposition to same-sex marriage. The National Post of Canada reports the decision by Rogers Sportsnet to let the contract worker go was made before the tweet and was well documented.

The circuit-riding, anti-same-sex marriage political consultants are keeping their overhead low by pulling stuff out of the video pantry. They are strangers passing through on the way to someplace else.

Approval of Referendum 74 speaks to a law passed with bipartisan votes in the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire — people who know and understand the people of Washington.

The essence of that understanding was in a statement of support Thursday by former Republican Gov. Dan Evans. He said approving the referendum “just seems right and reflects the fundamental value of fairness that we treasure here in Washington.”

Fresh, honest and homegrown sentiments. Approve Referendum 74.

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