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Same-sex marriage? Legalizing pot? Those issues — and others — will be facing voters on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Members of our editorial board have reviewed and discussed the six ballot measures, and here are our recommendations.
Referendum 74: A vote to approve affirms the 2012 Legislature’s vote that changed the definition of a marriage to one between “two people,” opening the door for gay couples to formally wed. A “no” vote rejects the law. The issue is highly charged both in our state and nationally, where two other states will vote on similar measures, and our board struggled to find consensus. We share some concerns of established religious traditions that do not accept gay marriage, and acknowledge that same sex couples already have been granted legal privileges that match any heterosexual married couple.
However, equality under the law takes precedence, and our state should no longer treat one relationship between committed adults differently than another. Same sex couples are members of our neighborhoods, schools, sports teams, churches and families — and their vows to one another should be recognized and respected, as they pose no threat to those between a man and a woman.
The law preserves domestic partnerships for seniors, and protects religious organizations from civil claim of discrimination if they decline to marry a gay couple. Elected representatives from both parties made a bold statement in approving the law, and we encourage voters to approve that leadership with a vote to “approve.”
The Kitsap Sun’s editorial opinions and endorsements are done by the editor and opinion editor, in consultation with the editorial board. The board is made up of Editor David Nelson, Opinion Editor Jim Campbell, Publisher Charles Horton, Operations Director Ron Muhleman, and community members Peter Barnett (Central Kitsap), Bob Cairns (Manchester), Larry Iversen (Central Kitsap), Christine Johnson (Port Orchard) and Val Tollefson (Bainbridge Island).