The pro-gay marriage campaign, which raised more than $12 million, declared victory today. With a 65 percent margin in King County, and a 52-48 margin statewide, they concluded there's no way the anti-gay marriage camp can beat them.
In a victory statement, campaign manager Zach Silk said today:
This is a clear win. We have run the numbers every which way, and we can now confidently say that we have won. This is an historic day for Washington, an historic day for our country and, most of all, for families across the state who have dreamed of this day and the wedding celebrations to come.
He also emphasized that the $12 million wasn't just from big, high profile donors such as Jeff Bezos ($2.3 million), explaining that the campaing had 27,000 donors, 80 percent coming from Washington state, with an average donation of $280—an average that was bumped up by huge doners such as Bezos and Microsoft.
R-74 was a referendum on the gay marriage legislation that the legislature passed in February.
State Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Seattle) led the fight. He issued the following statement today:
"This is a great moment—a historic moment. It is the culmination of 17 years of effort and struggle in the legislature and during this campaign. The people of Washington State have come together to end an injustice and to finally fully recognize the loving, committed couples should be treated fairly. Washington has truly United for Marriage. For me personally, and for my partner of 21 years Michael, this is a deeply emotional moment. Like thousands of couples across this state we now have the freedom to marry. Something unimaginable just a few years ago."
Opponents collected enough signatures this spring to try and repeal the law, but, obviously, failed last night. The anti-campagin was mainly funded by the DC-based National Organization for Marriage, which kicked in more than $1 million in the $2.6 million effort.
Voters in Maryland and Maine also passed gay marraige laws last night. And in Minnesota, an anti-gay marraige constitutional amendment was voted down. NOM funded the anti-gay marriage campaigns in those states as well.