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UPDATE: Preserve Marriage Washington Concedes Likely Approval of Gay Marriage

New vote totals Thursday showed the gap widening in favor of Referendum 74. The main group fighting against Washington's same-sex marriage ballot measure, Preserve Marriage Washington, conceded Thursday.

The main group fighting against Washington's same-sex marriage ballot measure, Preserve Marriage Washington, conceded Thursday afternoon, saying it believes Referendum 74 would be narrowly approved.

And updated vote totals released Thursday evening showed the gap widening in favor of the measure, with 52.44 percent approving and 47.56 percent rejecting it, according to the Secretary of State's office as of 4:44 p.m.

Joseph Backholm, Chairman of Preserve Marriage Washington, released this statement: 

“With added results showing that we have not closed the gap, it now appears clear that Referendum 74 will be narrowly approved. We are disappointed in losing a tough election battle on marriage by a narrow margin. But while we are disappointed, we are not defeated.  We are fighting for a cause that is true, and beautiful, and right—the sacred institution of marriage.  It’s a cause worth fighting for, and we will continue to educate citizens and policymakers on the timeless truth that real marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

We knew this was not going to be an easy fight.  Washington is a deep blue state and one of the most secular states in the country.  Washington has a very high percentage of voters who never attend church, and polling showed that 80 percent of unchurched voters approved of Referendum 74.  On top of that, our opponents had a giant financial advantage, outspending us by $10 million, so the odds became even more difficult.  Plus, we were fighting Washington’s political establishment and news media—with The Seattle Times taking the unprecedented step of not just endorsing the referendum, but of actively campaigning for its approval.  Nevertheless, we ran a strong campaign that we can be proud of—a campaign based on honesty and integrity.

Our opponents and some in the media will try to portray this election as a turning point, but it’s not a turning point to win on your home turf.  The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in this very liberal and secular state.  The results show only that in a deep blue state, with a huge financial advantage, gay marriage activists can win—barely.  Further, the results indicate that a significant percentage of Washington voters are troubled by redefining marriage.  Washingtonians know that women and men are not interchangeable—that children need both a mother and a father—and this election does not represent a sea change in their understanding of that reality.

We are grateful for the support of tens of thousands of volunteers who stood for the timeless truth that real marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Preserve Marriage Washington is a coalition of community and faith groups and citizens who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman. For more information, visit www.PreserveMarriageWashington.com.

Washington gay marriage supporters declared victory Wednesday, saying they've crunched the numbers and that the "no" votes can't overcome the "yes" votes at this stage of the counting.

“This is a clear win,” said campaign manager Zach Silk, in a prepared statement on the Washington United for Marriage website

Nick November 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM
I am not sure who you are accusing of hating or how you define hating. If you are suggesting that because someone believes what the bible says about homosexuality that they are hating then you are wrong. I personally do not hate anyone but I do stand up for the moral ethics taught in the New Testament. I hate the sins of drunkeness, adultry and homosexuality to name a few but I do not hate those commiting such sins. They need the Gospel as much as I do. FYI, God embraces all those who believe everything his New Testament says and he is not likely to care if they are Republican or Democrat or independent or heaven forbid NO POLITICAL AFFILIATION AT ALL. :) I do think he is not happy about those who think the New Testament is a smorgasbord in which one embraces some of his teaching and rejects whatever he does not agree with. If that is really what a person is doing then they should just follow themselves and leave the New Testament out of it.
Alan Brittenham November 16, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Here's an unasked question for Mitt Romney: If the definition of marriage is between one man and one woman, what does that say about your Grandfather with his 3 wives and 35 children in Mexico? Did all those aunts and uncles give you presents for Christmas every year? And for those of you stuck in the Old Testament, how many wives did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have at the same time? And if Adam and Eve were the only humans in the world, and their son Cain was third after he killed his brother and ran off into the wilderness to found a separate nation, who did he marry? Where did the women come from to begin all the begetting? Did they marry their sisters? :-{)}
PacNrthWst November 16, 2012 at 03:03 AM
It is important for both sides to remember that tolerance is not acceptance.
dexterjibs November 16, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Alan, kind of a stupid question since he is not President, nor is he a Senator, Congressman, Supreme Court Justice or Governor. I think the better question is, "Hey, President Obummer, when will you grow a pair and tell us what you actually believe about Sodomites marrying instead of flip flopping every few years?" But, i am guessing Alan that you do not have a pair to question any Democrat politician.
dexterjibs November 16, 2012 at 06:36 AM
Sara, Rosa Parks and MLK roll over in their grave when people like you compare their civil rights struggle of people that were born black to the so called civil rights struggle of people who choose to fornicate with people of the same sex. What is next, the civil rights struggle of people who engage in sex acts with animals or minors? Get real.

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