Here’s a little humor to get the new year started…
In 2009, Washington State voters faced Referendum 71, an attempt to repeal the state’s Domestic Partnership Equality law. The attempt ultimately failed as the Approve71.org campaign, under the brilliant stewardship of campaign manager Josh Friedes with his assistant, Anne, won the day. In Washington State, wherever the state law says “spouse”, “domestic partner” is legally equivalent.
In order to get Referendum 71’s on the ballot, its supporters needed to gather the required number of signatures on petitions. To combat this, a “decline to sign” campaign was in place. Regrettably, the referendum did qualify for the ballot, though the repeal attempt ultimately failed. One of the challenges in this campaign was the fact that prior to being on the ballot, our position was in the negative “decline to sign” petitions while once on the ballot our position was in the affirmative “Approve 71.”
Our goal was to have people decline to sign the petitions so that Ref71 would not make the ballot. Had it not made the ballot, the Domestic Partnership rights would have remained in effect without the need for a popular vote.
This ad was recently found on the cutting room floor. Unfortunately Dan Savage couldn’t get the message right. Despite being off-message, one must wonder if the decline2sign71 campaign might have been successful had it been released.