According to Preserve Marriage Washington, the organization working to defeat Referendum 74, the ballot measure that would legalize gay marriage in Washington State, supporters of gay marriage are resorting to acts of vandalism, theft and violence in an effort to intimidate voters. On Saturday, the group updated its Facebook page with videos and photos of recent events showing how contentious the campaign has become.
“Respect? Tolerance? Freedom of speech? Not from those who would redefine marriage,” Preserve Marriage said on Facebook. “Across the state same-sex marriage advocates have engaged in vandalism, theft, trespassing, harassment, and assault in an effort to discourage those who believe marriage to be between one man and one woman. While they demand acceptance they show their true colors in their own intolerance and hatred.”
Across the state, they say, signs have been stolen, burned, vandalized and shredded, while supporters of traditional marriage have been harassed.
One incident involving a ruined sign resulted in the arrest of a gay man who was charged with a hate crime.
At the time of the incident, the campaign to pass Referendum 74 called it a “cynical political tactic” to garner sympathy for traditional marriage.
Arlene Mark, a 61-year-old supporter of traditional marriage, was sitting in her Subaru Legacy as she waited to distribute campaign literature to other Preserve Marriage Washington volunteers in the parking lot of a Safeway supermarket in Burien.
According to the account, a young man ran at Arlene’s car, hit it, and ripped a campaign sign off her vehicle. As he tore the sign, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it, he yelled, “This is what I think of your f*****g sign! I’m gay and proud of it.” He shouted vulgar profanities at Arlene, calling her a “b***” and screaming “f**k you!”
Nikki Davis, 36, a pregnant African-American woman, came to her aid. Davis was not involved in the political campaign and did not know Arlene, but stepped in to help. The assailant reportedly turned on Nikki. According to the report, he shoved her and hurled racial slurs at her, while telling her to “go back to Africa.” He also allegedly beat on her van. Davis, who was afraid for Arlene, for herself, and for her children who were with her, called the police.
“It’s awful that the ‘Approve R-74’ campaign wants Arlene and Nikki to feel bad for reporting the attack they suffered. Arlene is a grandmother who was sitting quietly in her car and Nikki wasn’t even involved with the campaign,” said Preserve Marriage Washington Communications Director Chip White.
“This should serve as a wake-up call. Same-sex marriage activists are far from tolerant of those who believe in traditional marriage,” he added.
The campaign for Referendum 74 has raised some $11 million to fund a campaign claiming they want to “live and let live.”
But it seems that only applies if one supports gay marriage.
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