Many who are friends of Faith and Freedom and stand for natural, traditional marriage put in endless volunteer hours gathering signatures for both R-74 and I-1192---a little over 80,000 for R-74 and about 60,000 for I-1192.
Others associated with other faith based organizations and churches did so as well.
Thank you and God bless you for your tireless effort.
R-74 easily made the November ballot. I-1192 has failed to do so.
I, personally, and Faith and Freedom fully supported both, and, of course, sponsored neither. Other organizations such as Concerned Women for America (Maureen Richardson) did the same.
Steve Pidgeon, the sponsor of I-1192, told the Olympian last week, "I hate to say it... but we're not going to cross the threshold. We're not going to make it. This measure is not going to be on the ballot."
Pidgeon did not turn in the signatures but told the Olympian he had collected a total of 98,539.
So what happened?
Brad Shannon at the Olympian asked the same question.
Here is a very frank and open response from Pidgeon. And some personal comments on what I observed, how I am personally responding and some troubling concerns.
Pidgeon told Shannon, "He blamed rivals in the campaign to stop gay marriage – specifically supporters of the campaign to qualify R-74 for the ballot – for some of his group’s lack of success. He said those working for the sponsor, Joseph Backholm of the conservative Family Policy Institute of Washington, were attacking I-1192."
“I’m just going to say that the well was severely poisoned….We were killed by friendly fire,’’ Pidgeon said. “There were activists working with R-74 (sponsors) telling people to burn our petitions, to throw them in the trash, that they would be worthless – that it would be overturned by the 9th Circuit (court).’’
Asked about what the motive would be for such a thing, Pidgeon told Shannon: “It’s about fundraising, my friend.’’
Those seeking to redefine marriage have said all along they would challenge the Initiative. They have also said they will be ready to take any legal action available to them against R-74 as well.
I received hundreds, maybe well over a thousand email and comments during the signature gathering process that affirm what Pidgeon says about opposition from Joseph Backholm's people.
To be very frank the R-74 campaign was laced with strife from the first day. I was told by the Secretary's office that Joe Fuiten went to the Secretary of State's office seeking to file the referendum first and become the sponsor, only to be told Gregoire had not officially signed the bill yet and he should return in an hour or so. In the mean time Backholm filed the referendum becoming the sponsor.
The Secretary's office told me they were at first confused, thinking there were two different referendum, then realized both were trying to file the same one.
A wide representative group of faith based organizations and Christian activists, myself included, had, just days before in a phone conference, expressed strong, unanimous opposition to either Joe Fuiten or Joseph Backholm leading the effort. Backholm had created an alliance with NOM and they pressed through to become the sponsor.
A spirit of divisiveness has followed the effort to defend marriage. And it is heart breaking for some of us who focused solely on preserving marriage, not on who was leading and the personalities involved.
So why mention it now?
What I have mentioned above only incidentally, is known in much wider detail by thousands of people across the state. I'm receiving an alarming and escalating number of email, calls etc., from people who are saying they will not support the R-74 effort at the ballot because of these kinds of attitudes and actions, and because R-74 has no longevity. It's a one shot deal.
I am appealing to all of you with whom I communicate to put all this aside until after the election. I understand the frustration and disappointment in the words and actions of some.
However, Marriage is worth it. It is bigger than all this. It is God's model---the universal social model of one man and one woman. It is worth standing for, regardless of what others may or may not do and say. And regardless of who may get the credit if we are successful.
If we fail to act on this issue---sit it out, we will own some responsibility should it fail.
I-1192 would have set aside any realistic possibility of legalizing same sex "marriage" for at least 2 years in that a super majority (2/3) would have been required to overturn it. That majority does not exist in the present legislature. Those seeking to redefine marriage have minimized the initiative, but I can tell you with certainty, they were concerned about it.
However, R-74 is absolutely necessary. If we fail to overturn Sen. Ed Murray's bill to redefine marriage, not only marriage, but the culture itself will be changed forever. It will be very, very difficult to reverse later.
Faith and Freedom is currently involved in creating ads for television, cable, the Internet, etc., directed specifically at those who are "undecided" or "conflicted" over whether marriage should be redefined---as Gov. Gregoire admitted she was for a number of years.
Too many are telling me R-74 isn't worth the effort, Ed Murray can come back with a new bill as early as January 2013. He will keep coming back and will eventually wear us down.
It is true he can and likely will come back with a new bill to redefine marriage. If so, we will stand again. And reject it again. And again, if necessary.
Marriage is worth it.
This is not a time to be silent or angry toward those within, regardless of what has been said or done.
Be clear in your own heart as to who the real enemy is in this matter.
The Seattle Times has seized the moment. They always do. The editorial board is calling I-1192, "a complete and utter flop."
They are saying the failure of I-1192 proves that the people of Washington "clearly have more important things on their minds than keeping loving couples from establishing lives together raising families and embracing all the responsibilities that entails."
But wait. That's exactly what they said when they were pushing Sen. Murray's "Everything but marriage" bill a couple of years ago.
Should Murray and his allies in the media, education and the religious left succeed in redefining marriage, what would the next call to action sound like? A call for polygamy? Multiple legal parents? Group marriage? Marriage for close relatives?
Extreme? I wish it were.
This is the time to stand for marriage. Lay aside the weights and distractions that will hinder the cause.
Be Vigilant. Be Faithful. Be Discerning. Be Active. Be Very Prayerful. Be Blessed.