Preserve Marriage Washington, sponsors of Referendum 74, have filed a court challenge to the Attorney General's Office ballot title for their proposal, which would set up a statewide vote this fall on the state's newly adopted law permitting civil marriage for same-sex couples.

Seattle attorney Steven O'Ban (206-682-0565) and attorneys from Arizona and Washington, D.C. filed their case in Thurston County Superior Court, which under state law has sole discretion of setting the final ballot title language. No hearing date was announced. Supporters of the new law are also expected to challenge the ballot title, and have until next Monday to file their case.  Typically, all challenges are heard at the same hearing.

PMW submitted language that sponsors had filed with their initial paperwork, saying the Attorney General didn't adequately, accurately explain the key points of the legislation. One specific example, they said, is that "The Attorney General's proposed ballot title does not reference the significant and fundamental change in Washington's law which would render the terms `husband' and `wife' as gender-neutral, and which terms appear in more than 300 provisions in the laws of the state of Washington ...."