Microsoft has come out for the ‘everything but marriage law’ in Washington state, donating $100,000 to the campaign seeking to retain the state’s expansion of the state’s domestic partnership law. The law, up for a public vote Nov. 3, extends marriage-like state benefits to gay and some senior couples.
The Seattle Times reports that the donation brings to nearly $780,000 the total amount raised so far by Washington Families Standing Together. That far outweighs the $60,000 raised to date by the law’s opponents, Protect Marriage Washington, the group that forced the measure onto the ballot by gathering 120,000 signatures. It’s the largest donation the campaign has received so far.
As InvestigateWest reporter Carol Smith recently reported in a story broadcast on Seattle radio station KUOW, voting on Referendum 71 can be tricky. A “yes” vote would leave intact the expanded rights for domestic partners already approved by the Legislature. A “no” vote would repeal those rights.
Smith reported on senior couples who don’t realize how the law could adversely affect them.
Anne Levinson chairs the Approve 71 campaign to uphold the state’s domestic partner rights. She told Smith that many seniors don’t realize hospitals could keep them from a loved-one’s bedside. Or from claiming a body and making funeral arrangements if their partner dies.
“I think with seniors, and with the rest of us … it often takes a crisis for us to realize that without those legal protections, we are often left in not only a financially tenuous position but in terms of being able to make decisions for our loved ones, or have access to care. The tragedies we’ve seen over and over again when an emergency strikes and people do not have the protections of domestic partnership laws – it’s sad.”
— Rita Hibbard