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Referendum 71 Qualifies for Wash. Ballot


Referendum 71, the measure that could overturn the expanded domestic-partnership law for same-sex couples in Washington, qualified for the November ballot on Tuesday, according to state election officials.

"After a month of counting petition signatures, the secretary of state's office said that Referendum 71 had 121,617 valid signatures -- about a thousand more than needed to advance to the general election," reports The Seattle Times.

The expanded domestic-partnership law, known as "everything but marriage" for all the state benefits it provides, was supposed to take effect last month, but it was delayed pending the outcome of the signature count. Now, in order to take effect, the law will need to survive the November referendum.

Opponents of Referendum 71 have asked a judge to block the measure, at least temporarily, saying that election officials accepted thousands of invalid signatures. The judge said she would rule in the case on Wednesday.

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