Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Clarification on News Story Regarding R-71

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R-71 SIGNATURE UPDATE: R-71: Fresh snapshot of fully checked signatures

State election officials have released the first of a new format of daily updates for the closely watched Referendum 71 signature checks. The late Tuesday recap, reflecting only the batches that have been fully vetted by checkers and reviewed and revised by master checkers, shows 33,214 signatures checked, with 3,462 rejected, for a current error rate of 10.42 percent, the lowest it has ever been.


Clarification on News Story Regarding R-71

Yesterday the Associated Press released a news story, which was carried by KOMO News and other news sources, titled, "State Nixes Request To Seal R-71 Donor Names." It says, "The state Public Disclosure Commission on Tuesday rejected a request to seal the names of donors to a campaign to overturn Washington State's domestic partnership law."

As you might imagine the story is buzzing around the state last night and this morning.

Although Rachel La Corte from AP specifically wrote, "The Commission has added the group's request to a previously scheduled meeting later this month," the notion is out there that the request was thrown out. At this point they have rejected an emergency meeting, but have agreed to consider our request at their August 27 meeting.

There is some precedent for our request. The PDC granted a similar request to a gay rights group in 1994. The Tacoma Tribune says, "There is slight precedence for blocking campaign finance information. In 1994, the commission released a group called Hands Off Washington from including the occupations and employers of those who donated to the campaign. The group was formed to oppose two initiatives that would have prevented the Legislature from passing laws giving civil rights protections based on sexual orientation."

Josh Friedes, a gay activist leader, told La Corte, "We all have to be focused on creating a society which respects each other and allows civil discussion of controversial issues." I agree.

We have just completed a campaign in which young people, parents and grandparents circulated petitions to their family, friends, fellow church members and community, in an attempt to put this matter of SB 5688, which is the last incremental step to redefining marriage in Washington State, to a vote of the people. I did not see or hear anything that even approaches hate or bigotry on the part of tens of thousands of Christians and conservatives who participated. I did not hear of anyone who heard of anyone who felt hate toward homosexuals.

Christians believe in the wonder working power of Jesus Christ to forgive our sins, deliver us from those things that would destroy us and violate His principles and give us an abundant life in Him. We believe that is extended to all who have sinned. And all have sinned. There is a desire among Christians to see homosexuals experience the same transforming power of Christ that they have experienced. That is not hate. That is supernatural love.

I agree with Friedes, however, while branding all who defend natural marriage and oppose redefining it as bigots and hateful, there are those among them, like Mr. Bisceqlia, calling for violence against anyone who supports natural marriage. And this attitude is not isolated. Read a few gay blogs and you will see a high degree of this kind of destructive narrative. It would seem that "civil discussion" only means embracing and celebrating the homosexual lifestyle. A rejection of the lifestyle is only seen as hate. Or bigotry.

A "civil" discussion is exactly what we are striving for. In America, that process is carried out through the political or ballot process, not through violence or the call for violence. Nor should landmark cultural shifts be imposed on the state through legislative actions that isolate the public and their beliefs on the important institution of marriage. Senators Swecker, Stevens, Holmquist, Representatives Shea, McCune and others pleaded with their colleagues in the Legislature to allow the public to speak to the issue, but they would have none of it. In fact it has been stated that there is concern that the public might reject SB 5688 if they are allowed to vote on it.

It is our hope and prayer that the public will be allowed to speak on the issue. And will be relatively free from the persisting threats on property and life.

Gary Randall
Faith & Freedom

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