Gay marriage opponents to turn in signatures Weds.



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Opponents of gay marriage say they will turn in their signatures for Referendum 74 on Wednesday morning.

Joseph Backholm, with Preserve Marriage Washington, said Monday the campaign will turn the signatures in to the secretary of state’s office at 9 a.m. Wednesday. As of this weekend, they had collected nearly 200,000 signatures, well over the amount needed to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

The referendum seeks to overturn the measure allowing same-sex marriage in the state that was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire earlier this year. The new law takes effect Thursday unless opponents turn in enough signatures.

Backers of R-74 need to have 120,577 valid voter signatures by Wednesday in order to qualify for the ballot. The secretary of state’s office recommends that campaigns submit about 150,000 signatures in order to provide a cushion for invalid or duplicate signatures.