A citizen initiative that would ban same-sex marriage in Washington has failed to qualify for the November ballot, leaving only one measure on the ballot addressing marriage equality.
Initiative 1192, a citizen initiative that would have "reaffirmed the definition of marriage" as only between a man and a woman, needed more than 240,000 valid voter signatures by 5 p.m. on July 6 to make the November ballot. The initiative's sponsor, Stephen Pidgeon, told The Olympian his team came up about 140,000 signatures short.
"I hate to say it ... but we're just not going to cross the threshold. We're not going to make it. This measure is not going to be on the ballot," Pidgeon told The Olympian.
But Washington voters will still have to make it to the ballot box to defend marriage equality. Referendum 74 will remain on the Nov. 6 ballot, asking voters whether to ratify or reject Senate Bill 6239, the bill that passed the Legislature this year legalizing same-sex marriages. The referendum was certified for the ballot last month, collecting nearly twice the 120,577 voter signatures required to put it on the ballot.
Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates each donated $100,000 on Friday to the campaign supporting Washington's marriage equality law. Other prominent businesses in the Pacific Northwest that have come out for marriage equality include Starbucks Corp. and Nike Inc.