Press

Passage of Referendum 71 in Washington state is a victory for fairness and families

Date: 
November 05, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

"This victory promotes fairness, supports families, and is good for Washington state and the country. This victory sends the message that no family should be left vulnerable and without basic protections because of someone else's prejudices."
— Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 — Voters in Washington state have approved Referendum 71, which preserves expanded domestic partner protections for same-sex couples and unmarried senior couples, according to unofficial results. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund committed financial and staff resources contributing to this victory. It supported Washington Families Standing Together with a $10,000 contribution to underwrite the hiring of a statewide field director, provided advice and expertise to develop campaign and field plans, and sent a senior organizer to train the campaign field team.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"Passage of Referendum 71 is a victory for fairness and families in Washington state. Voters stood together, listened carefully and rejected the opposition's effort to distort the facts. This victory promotes fairness, supports families, and is good for Washington state and the country. This victory sends the message that no family should be left vulnerable and without basic protections because of someone else's prejudices.

"Washington Families Standing Together ran an excellent campaign to educate and mobilize voters all across the state about the domestic partner law and its protections for the 12,000 residents in registered domestic partnerships and their children. The campaign drove home the point that all families need and deserve fair treatment, especially in times of crisis. Health insurance, pensions, death benefits and family leave to care for a sick loved one were among the benefits made vulnerable by the threat to the domestic partnership law.

"Washington Families Standing Together brought together a broad spectrum of supporters who know that protecting all our families is good for the entire community. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force congratulates the campaign and thanks all the voters who cast a ballot in favor of equality."

Statement by Josh Friedes, Campaign Manager
Washington Families Standing Together

"This is a wonderful victory for all those who value fairness and equality. Washingtonians have defended fairness and taken a strong stand for all families. We would not be celebrating this victory if it were not for Washingtonians' commitment to civil rights, our amazing campaign staff, our volunteers, our community and allies, and the support of organizations like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The Task Force spent time with us on the ground to train our campaign field team and contributed financially to help us ensure this victory."


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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.