Four Leading Newspapers Across Washington State Endorse R-74 and The Freedom to Marry in Recent Editorials

Washington United for Marriage, the broad coalition working to defend the state’s bipartisan marriage law, today hailed four editorials from leading newspapers across the state which have endorsed Referendum 74 and the state’s marriage law this past weekend.

The Columbian which serves the greater Vancouver area, the Seattle Times, and The Spokesman Review which covers Spokane and the surrounding towns, and The News Tribune which serves Pierce County, all endorsed R-74 in strong editorials.  In addition, the Seattle Times established a page on its website where readers and supporters can send in photos with people holding a “I do Approve Referendum 74  Same sex marriage” sign literally showing their support.

The four newspapers follow the editorial board decision to endorse Referendum 74 by the Walla Walla Union Bulletin on Sept. 12th.

In a side story about the journey at the Seattle Times, editorial page editor Kate Riley wrote movingly about the impact of the Blethen family’s younger generation.  The family has owned the paper for 116 years, and the younger family members were instrumental in moving the editorial board, first, to support domestic partnerships in 2000, and now to support R74.

The Columbian in supporting the marriage law wrote, in part: “Some will argue that gays and lesbians already have all the necessary legal rights, so why do we have to allow them to get married?  That argument defeats itself.  The more logical question: Since gays and lesbians already have all the necessary legal rights anyway, why NOT allow them to get married? Try as they might, the foes of R-74 cannot provide a compelling answer.”

And in the Spokesman Review, the paper wrote:  “Quite simply, there is no government interest in limiting marriage to a man and a woman.  Some critics say this special right is justified because government needs to promote the production of children.  Yet, such couples can get married whether they have children or not.  Many same-sex couples do raise children… Ultimately, marriage is a personal decision and should be treated as such.”

“We are grateful that these five leading Washington newspapers have decided to weigh in on the importance of approving Referendum 74, and to make that case early in the process,” said WUM campaign manager Zach Silk.  “Taken together, these five papers represent distinct and very different regions of the state and show how broad and deep the support is for our bipartisan marriage law.”