Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Ref. 65: WWD releases statement

Referendum 65 Will Not be on the November Ballot
Anti-Discrimination Law Stands

(Seattle, WA) – Today Tim Eyman, The Christian Coalition, the Faith & Freedom Network and Concerned Women of America announced they were not successful in collecting the 112,440 valid signatures needed to qualify Referendum 65 for the November ballot. Signatures on the referendum were required to be received by the Washington Secretary of State by 5 p.m. today in order to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

"The failure of Eyman and the fundamentalist networks to collect enough signatures after three months of trying is a credit to the people of Washington state. Washingtonians made it clear they do not want to go back to the days when it was legal in our state to fire someone or deny them housing simply because of their sexual orientation," said Anne Levinson, Chair of the Washington Won't Discriminate Campaign, the organization leading the fight to keep the anti-discrimination law.

"Our campaign was just getting started and already more than 5,000 people and hundreds of religious organizations, businesses and community groups from around the state had publicly taken a stand in support of keeping the law. I've been involved in many campaigns over the years, and I have never seen an outpouring of support as we have received for making sure the law against discrimination remains the law in our state," Levinson added.

"Tomorrow, thousands of people will be able to go to work in towns across Washington without fear of being fired because of their sexual orientation," said John Vezina, Washington Won’t Discriminate campaign manager.

"A great deal of effort went into collecting signatures based on a mistaken assumption by the proponents that the people of the state didn't support the anti-discrimination law. To not get enough signatures for a referendum – only half as many are needed as for an initiative – makes a strong statement that the proponents of the referendum do not represent the vast majority of Washingtonians," added Vezina.

To view the list of endorsers, see below or visit the Washington Won't Discriminate website: www.washingtonwontdiscriminate.org

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