While the referendum developed long ago as a "progressive" reform, it is too often used by those who oppose progressive legal change to challenge positive measures adopted by the legislature. This November 6, Washington voters face just such a referendum in Referendum 74, which challenges a law that promotes inclusion and civil rights. Even though the measure was placed on the ballot by those opposed to the progressive law, voters must vote to "APPROVE" the measure in order to preserve the progressive law. Because this measure is important to civil rights in Washington, MALDEF recommends a vote to "APPROVE" Referendum 74, as explained below. I hope that this position endorsement and brief explanation help you to decide how to vote on this measure. But, however you decide, what is most important is that every eligible voter take the time to decide, and VOTE. Thank you.

Sincerely Yours,

Thomas A. Saenz
President and General Counsel

Washington Referendum Measure 74: APPROVE

This ballot measure would grant the right to civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples in Washington.

The referred law implements marriage equality, while expressly reserving the rights of clergy and religious institutions to follow their own rules on religious marriage. This law promotes respect for inclusion in Washington, and helps to eliminate one basis for irrational and harmful discrimination.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund