This past Sunday, The Olympian published the editorial Support equality, support Referendum 71, “an unqualified endorsement of equal rights for same-sex domestic partners. We encourage voters to approve Referendum 71 on Nov. 3.”
Late last week the editorial board met with a representative of the campaigns for and against the approval of the domestic partnership law. They have made these meetings available to the public as video posted at TVW, Washington State Public Affairs Network. The video, 36 minutes of solid gold, is below the fold.
Interviewed first is Steve O’Ban for the opponents of domestic partnerships. Interestingly, although he says the anti-DP campaign asked him to be there, he pathetically refuses to speak on their behalf when asked hard questions. For example, when asked by Editorial Page Editor Mike Oakland (time mark 12:15)
As you know in addition to granting rights to same-sex couples, this senate bill also grants rights to heterosexual couples where one of the partners is 62 or older. Do you have any problems with that aspect of the bill?
I don’t have any position on that. I don’t know, frankly, if the campaign – [laughing] you might know better than I do if the campaign has a position on that. Um, so, I can’t speak to that issue here today.
Major fail! We already know that the campaign O’Ban represents has a huge problem with seniors getting domestic partnerships, but they’re apparently afraid now to admit it out loud.
That’s not his only meltdown. Watch the whole thing – the editorial board asks smart questions, and O’Ban’s answers, when he has them, reveals that there is nothing behind his campaign other than raw anti-gay animus.
After O’Ban, the board interviewed Approve 71‘s Anne Levinson. I think the best exchange happened at time mark 25:40, where Mike Oakland asked
Does this legalize marriage for same-sex couples?
In fact just the opposite. If same-sex couples could get married, you wouldn’t have domestic partnerships. So what this provides in our state is a parallel, not equal, but parallel way for families to have legal protections. Families in domestic partnerships do not have many of the rights and opportunities that married couples have, both in federal law and when you leave our state. And this certainly does have nothing to do with the religious marriage or even civil marriage. What it is is a set of legal protections for a set of those who cannot otherwise get married.
You know, it occurs to me that nobody thinks to question whether the bill legalizes marriage for straight seniors in domestic partnerships. Interesting that. I wonder how Larry Stickney or Gary Randall might answer the question
Does this legalize marriage for senior domestic partnership couples?