Fortunately for us Nevadans SB 283 will be implemented on October 1, and domestic partnerships will be up and running then. Unfortunately for Washington (state) and Maine, that's not the case. In Maine, signatures have been submitted for a ballot initiative to overturn the state's new marriage equality law. Signatures have also been submitted and are in the process of being validated in Washington for a referendum on the domestic partnership expansion bill.
So what does this mean? If the respective counts in each state show a failure to collect enough signatures, there will be no special election and the residents of Maine and/or Washington will get better legal protections and relationship recognition this year. But if either or both qualifies, then we must prepare to stand alongside our brothers and sisters this fall so we can help them avoid the pain and suffering that has crippled California since Prop H8 passed. And not only can we turn the tide nationally in successfully defending LGBT civil rights at the ballot box, but we can also set some good precedents that may scare away the radical right should they reconsider a campaign to undo SB 283 here in Nevada.
So if you have friends & family in Seattle or Spokane or anywhere else in Washington, please remind them to approve Referendum 71 (should it make the November 2009 ballot) to implement the domestic partnership expansion. And if you have friends & family in Portland or Bangor or anywhere else in Maine, please remind them to vote NO on 1 (should it make the November 2009 ballot) to support the freedom to marry.