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Obama Urges “Yes” On Ref. 74

AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey

President Obama is formally throwing his support to Referendum 74, which asks Washington voters to decide on same-sex marriage.

The Washington state press secretary for the Obama campaign, Paul Bell, released a statement today saying “The President supports a vote approving Referendum 74.”

Bell’s statement goes on to say say, “While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect.”

This is Obama’s first explicit endorsement for Referendum 74 although his backing of gay marriage comes as little surprise. He voiced similar support during fundraising stop in Seattle in May.

During his visit, Obama told an audience at Seattle’s Paramount Theater that “here in Washington you'll have the chance to make your voice heard on the issue of making sure that everybody, regardless of sexual orientation, is treated fairly.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney opposes gay marriage. His campaign website says he supports a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Recent polls suggest the race for Referendum 74 is getting tighter. An Elway poll released Wednesday shows the measure leading 49 percent to 45 percent. Last month’s Elway poll showed the measure ahead by a wider margin.

The Washington Poll released October 18 gives another gauge of voter opinion. It indicates 53 percent voter approval for Referendum 74.

Year started with KUOW: 2006