Referendum 74's Passage
4:08 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Concede Referendum Loss

The campaign against same-sex marriage in Washington conceded defeat on Referendum 74. Its passage upholds the state legislature's law allowing gay marriage in Washington.

Opponents of Washington's Referendum 74 have conceded the election. Same-sex couples can apply for a marriage license starting December 6.
Opponents of Washington's Referendum 74 have conceded the election. Same-sex couples can apply for a marriage license starting December 6.
Credit Chantal Andrea

Late arriving ballots are still being counted, but Preserve Marriage Washington chairman Joseph Backholm concedes it's very unlikely his side can stage a comeback. They're trailing 52 to 48 percent right now.

Backholm challenges the notion that voter approval of same-sex marriage in Washington and two East Coast states represents a "historic" turning point.

"In a left-leaning state, and based on the outcome of this election, a pretty blue state. When you outspend your opponents by $10 million and barely win, I don't necessarily think... it's not a ringing endorsement of something."

Meanwhile, gay and lesbian couples who want to tie the knot in Washington can apply for a marriage license starting December 6. County clerks, especially in Seattle, are expecting a big rush on the first day. Some are planning for extended hours or taking applications online.

There is no residency requirement for a Washington marriage license. That means same-sex couples from Oregon and Idaho could cross the border to marry, but those marriages won't be recognized in their home states.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

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Same-sex marriage laws by state (National Conference of State Legislatures)