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Referendum 74 offers Washington voters a chance to expand civil rights to same-sex couples.
In February, after receiving crucial support from the state House of Representatives and state Senate, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed landmark legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Opponents petitioned to put the measure before voters on the November ballot.
Washington already affords rights to same-sex couples, but the existing law is incomplete. Marriage is a basic civil right, and that word is missing in our current “everything-but-marriage” law. R-74 offers voters the chance to take the next step, and extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. The measure, simply put, is about equality. Opponents claim same-sex marriage is certain to damage the sanctity of marriage. If R-74 critics want to preserve marriage, perhaps they should target divorce laws rather than a measure to expand the right to marry.
Voters should affirm equality for same-sex couples and approve R-74.