Deadlines loom for marriage, abortion petitions

By John Fortmeyer
Christian News Northwest

Thousands of Oregon and Washington churches are being approached to promote petition campaigns to get two specific issues on the Nov. 6 ballot in the two states. In Oregon, sponsors of citizen Initiative 25 seek a minimum 116, 284 valid voter signatures by July 2 for a vote to halt taxpayer funding of abortion. An estimated $11 million in tax revenue was spent on 26,000 abortions from 2003 to 2009, say petitioners.

In Washington, two separate campaigns have the same basic goal — to counteract the Legislature’s approval this past winter of same-sex marriage. Referendum 74 aims to repeal the new law. To get it on the November ballot, supporters have until June 6 to collect 120,577 valid voter signatures.

Similarly, Initiative 1192 seeks to define marriage as solely for one man and one woman. It needs 241,153 signatures by July 8 to make the ballot.

Many thousands of petition sheets have been distributed in the two states, and more are available.

In the case of the Oregon initiative, 23,000 signatures had been collected by late April. While that seems low, there has been an intense recent flow of interest in the campaign, said co-petitioner Jeff Jimerson of Albany.

“This has really been a prayer-girded effort,” he said. “We are trusting the Lord 100 percent on this. … we are optimistic. We know the people of Oregon don’t want to pay for abortions.”

He said about 200 churches have been involved, but the goal in coming weeks is 2,000 churches. For details on Initiative 25, go to

In Washington, as of late April 33,744 signatures had been secured for R-74. For information, go to or

At press time, an updated signature count was not available for Initiative 1192. For details on that effort, go to or

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