Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Happened To I-1192?

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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?

Here's why.

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.


  1. Very powerful. The Truth will set you free. Thanks Gary.

    1. Message to other believers read Eph 5:11-14; remember it's our job to be light and salt...
      even to each other.

  2. I have been struggling with this very issue. I had many r-74 workers tell me not to get signatures for i-1192. I even had pastors say they would not put i-1192 in their church because they were told not to by the leaders of r-74. It was confusing and hurtful. This really helps. God bless you for your faithfullness.

  3. A breath of fresh air. Every body knows about this, thanks for for turning on the light.

  4. Anne Levinson has been advising the same-sex marriage people. She says the initiative would have been struck down in court.

  5. Fortunately all three places I ran into the petititions at (the caucus, where I signed them, the church I am a member at, and another church my family attends so I attend at times) - all had both the initiatives available.

    Thank you for the speech - it is important for the church to stand in unity. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, and divisiveness is one of the easiest attacks for satan to carry out [as after the initial onslaught, we often due it to ourselves through grudges, rivalries, self-righteousness, or self-justification!)].

  6. What a shame that Christians, in their very unChristian grasping for self-importance, continually shoot themselves in the foot. It's no wonder that liberals win - at least they work together.

  7. Thanks for clarifying this and I was appalled by the leadership of the Ref and NOM folks and a certain homeschool network leader, even the receptionist at the office. Question: Should these folks who led the way to division on this issue, repent, humble themselves, ask forgiveness of one another; if they could or would, then might the God we serve turn this around for us all in the state we love and live in. Won't you show the way and His way, by doing this? Otherwise, we can cry out for mercy all we want, but until we have true servant leadership and a culture of honor,...we are killing ourselves and His Kingdom from advancing...He can't work with us and come to our rescue.

    1. I don't understand if Fuiten and Blackholm were working together, why didn't they communicate better? Am I reading this correctly?

  8. 12:59 I think Fuiten and Backholm have given the appearance of working together, but they both wanted to be the sponsor of R-74 so they could controll it. Fuiten was originally on the board with Backholm, but resigned when he became so controversial during the Referendum 71 by publicly oppossing it. Backholm's group initiatially refused to support Stickney and Randall on R-71, then in the end Backholm and Fuiten both came out in support, after the harm was done. I heard that other board members resigned from Backholm's group because they would not support R-71 in 2009. I was involved with the R-71 and have been with both R-74 and I-1192.

  9. Stating the obvious NOM and their cohorts didn't want Pidgeon as an easy target by the opposition. He might be a good friend of your's Gary, but he is considered far right wing 'wingnut' by liberals and would be so by independents with attack ads that referenced some of the things he's said and supported in the past.

    Not saying if any perception is true or not, but still it would have been a soft target during the campaign. NOM goes into these things gently 'sideways' saving its hard core doubt raising ads for the last few days before the vote.

    NOM is all about 'controlling the message' as all successful political campaigns are these days. Having Steven Pidgeon as a target would just have decreased votes for both measures.

    So I wish it had made the ballot (I have talked with several lawyers and 2 retired judges that said it would have been found unconstitutional by the supreme court anyway) but there are valid reasons why it didn't and shouldn't from your camp's perspective.

  10. Wow. Talk about transparency. Thanks Gary. I wonder who will get mad at you for bringing clarity to this issue and calling for unity amongst all of us. I was on the fence because of these issues, but now I see I must support R-74.

  11. Steve Pidgeon is right about the friendly fire, but I found some of it not even very friendly while I was getting signatures for both petitions. I never had one person in the Christian circles tell me not to sign R-74 petitions, but I heard often from R-74 workers not to sign I-1192.

  12. The way you defend traditional marriage is to pass durable, long-lasting protection like a constitutional amendment or a statutory initiative like 1192. That is the way it was done successfully in North Carolina and 31 other states. It isn't that difficult to understand. So why are we bucking that successful strategy which has won everywhere in order to support a badly planned referendum run by untrustworthy people which can be undone by the legislature the very day after the election? R74 makes no sense. It is all about Backholm's ego and ambition, not marriage.

    If we allow ourselves to be forced into an annual ritual of repealing "gay" marriage, then we will lose. It isn't because marriage isn't worth it, it is because we would be fighting the war the way the enemy wants us to.

    The best course is to push for a constitutional amendment or a statutory initiative in 2013. I'm not saying I won't vote on R74. Of course I'll be at the polls so I would vote on it. But in terms of emptying my wallet and soliciting donations and spending my weekends, no. No way. It isn't fair to marriage supporters and families and churches to ask them to do this to pass something that can be undone in a day.

    We should make 2013 our real year to shine with a measure that really protects marriage. And it will be easier to win because it won't be a Presidential election year.

  13. 11:00, that sounds right to me. We are called to victory for and by Christ Jesus. We are not called to fall prey to our personal temptation to fight battles that will lead to defeat simply because we want to do something right this instant. Nor are we called to support campaigns that are not biblically run and that attack our bretheren like Mr. Pidgeon.

    My family will sacrifice time and money for marriage and the church, and we will do so cheerfully. But I cannot ask my wife and children to sacrifice for a pointless effort which will only boost the political career and finances of Mr. Backholm and his supporters.

    Next year, we can have one initiative and only one. And it can be an initiative that affirms God's definition of marriage and places that in the Washington law in a way that cannot be taken out the day after the election. We have already shown that we can gather 300,000 signatures and that is enough to put it on the ballot. This seems to have worked in every other state, so I do not see why we should abandon that tried and true approach in favor of Mr. Backholm's self-serving effort.

  14. Most of this is very upsetting to me....to discover some of our local leaders admired and respected by so many are not as respectful it seems as they should be..will new leaders please rise up and deliver us from old wineskin?

  15. I am always amazed when I go to a ballot and see two measures dealing with the same issue. I see that here we have two ballot measure efforts seeming to try to accomplish the same end, yet creating strife. Not good. I have been a supporter of NOM, but probably not any more.

  16. How does Backholm justify his actions? Has he made any gesture of repentance or given Christian voters any assurance that his campaign will be run on Biblical principles?

    We have seen over and over again that disaster and heartache come from backing sharp political operators who skillfully use the language of Christianity but who have no real loyalty to the Kingdom. I will not be manipulated again. As the saying goes, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

  17. As more people become involved, and "know" things, then, our leaders of the past will come under more scrutiny. Perhaps then, new ones will arise and take our state to the next level...I just don't know how much time we have to get it done! It is so hurtful to hear these remarks. I assume there is money involved somewhere here as well as reputations or poitical careers.Sounds like this has been brewing for a couple of years or more....and most are simply unaware of the inner turmoil...I hate the "political spirit" that runs good cuases amuck.


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