"Gawwwd no!" he said when asked if he would run a referendum on gay marriage if the legislature passes a marriage equality bill this session.[pullquote]I'm a ballsy guy, but that's even over my limit.—Tim Eyman, who says he's not interested in running a referendum on gay marriage.[/pullquote]
Moreover, when we asked Eyman—who's fond of saying "Let the Voters Decide"—if gay marriage should be put up for a vote of the people, he said, "I have no opinion, whatever happens, happens."
Eyman said his last foray into measures on gay rights (he tried to put a referendum on the ballot in 2006 to repeal the anti-gay discrimination bill Olympia passed that year, but failed to get enough signatures) "wasn't a pleasant experience. That battle on taxes is tame in comparison. [Gay rights] is a snake pit. I'm a ballsy guy, but that's even over my limit."
Asked about the issue himself—does he support or oppose gay marriage—Eyman would not say. "I'm out. I'm out. Buddy. I'm not going to talk about this issue. Given my experience in 2006, I have nothing to gain from talking about this issue."
Eyman also stayed out of the R-71 campaign in 2009 to repeal domestic partnership laws. That campaign was run by Protect Marriage Washington. They filed an initiative today on 1998's Defense of Marriage Act. They'll need 243,000 signatures by July.
Here's the text:
AN ACT Relating to reaffirming the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman; amending RCW 26.04.010 and 26.04.020; and creating new sections.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. This act reaffirms the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Sec. 2. RCW 26.04.010 and 1998 c 1 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Marriage is a civil contract between ((a male)) one man and ((a female)) one woman who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable.
(2) Every marriage entered into in which either the husband or the wife has not attained the age of seventeen years is void except where this section has been waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides on a showing of necessity.
Sec. 3. RCW 26.04.020 and 1998 c 1 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Marriages in the following cases are prohibited:
(a) When either party thereto has a wife or husband living at the time of such marriage;
(b) When the husband and wife are nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whether of the whole or half blood computing by the rules of the civil law; or
(c) When the parties are persons other than ((a male)) one man and ((a female)) one woman.
(2) It is unlawful for any man to marry his father's sister, mother's sister, daughter, sister, son's daughter, daughter's daughter, brother's daughter or sister's daughter; it is unlawful for any woman to marry her father's brother, mother's brother, son, brother, son's son, daughter's son, brother's son or sister's son.
(3) A marriage between two persons that is recognized as valid in another jurisdiction is valid in this state only if the marriage is not prohibited or made unlawful under subsection (1)(a), (1)(c), or (2) of this section.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. This act shall be cited as the marriage is between one man and one woman act.
Asked if he was trying to head off gay marriage legislation at the pass, Evertt attorney Steve Pidgeon, who filed the initiative, says the purpose of the meausure is to clarify the language in 1998's DOMA—"we're specifically trying to head off polygamy," he says. "The current DOMA needs a clarification. It needs to change from 'a male' and 'a female' to between one male and one female. We believe many Washingtonians believe marriage should be between one man and one woman."
He says he's looking forward to a public debate. "I'm glad the issue is going to get aired."