Image: Flickr/The Rocketeer
Our opponents leading the Reject R-74 campaign are up with a new ad dredging up old claims and fear tactics to scare and misinform voters about Washington’s bipartisan marriage law. You can see the new ad here.
Said WUM Campaign Manager Zach Silk: “It’s ironic to us that our opponents, who claim to oppose the freedom to marry on behalf of children and families, would actually seek to treat one set of children differently from another. If they really cared about doing all that we can as a society to help kids succeed and thrive, then they should embrace marriage for those parents so that all families are treated equally and fairly.”
Among the “busted” claims in the ad are these:
CLAIM: “Gays and Lesbians already have the same legal rights as married couples.”
FACTS: While domestic partnerships are legal in Washington, states that have passed such laws have found them to be fundamentally unequal and harmful. [See here, here, and here.] As the Supreme Court of Connecticut wrote in 2008 when it struck down a statute that prohibited same-sex marriage, civil unions and marriage “are by no means ‘equal.’” The court explained in its opinion: “Despite the truly laudable effort of the legislature in equalizing the legal rights afforded same sex and opposite sex couples, there is no doubt that civil unions enjoy a lesser status in our society than marriage.”
CLAIM: Marriage “was created for the care and well-being of the next generation.”
FACTS: Many households headed by same-sex couples in the U.S. are raising children. According to the U.S. Census, approximately 20 percent of same-sex couples are raising nearly 250,000 children. Children being raised by loving, committed same-sex couples – like all children – deserve the protections that come from allowing their parents to marry.
CLAIM: “When laws like 74 have occurred elsewhere, people who disagree have faced lawsuits, fines, and punishment.”
FACTS: A Seattle Times
national investigation “failed to turn up any evidence that same-sex marriage had produced a rash of suits involving businesspeople.” The newspaper “also checked with human rights commissions in four of the six states where marriage is legal; the commissions said there was not an increase in discrimination findings or suits involving same sex marriage.”