We crossed Puget Sound and drove into Seattle this morning. It was a fun trip across the water, as we drove the Driving Equality van onto a ferry to make the 30 minute crossing. It was our first time on a vehicle ferry. I was very excited and have a short video to post later. Right now there are more important things going on.
We brought the footage of the antigay signature collector committing fraud to Equal Rights Washington. From there, our friends at ERW edited the video posted it online. Dan Savage’s local Seattle newspaper, the Stranger, picked up the story and posted the video to the paper’s blog. The “Slog” is extremely popular in Seattle and the video has now been seen by hundreds of people.
Truth Wins Out, an organization dedicated to “fighting right wing lies,” has also posted the video on their website. A few other national blogs, and some local sites, have also picked up the story and posted the footage. People are now seeing how these signatures are really being collected.
The referendum signatures are due tomorrow. I’m heading down to Olympia, the state capital, to record the scene. The antigay organization will be turning in their signatures while Equal Rights Washington makes a strong presence in favor of equality.
Unfortunately, fraudulent signature gathering is not illegal in Washington state. The mentality is that one should read and know what they are signing. Of course, in reality, many people who are stopped in a parking lot don’t read the entire petition, they believe what the signature gatherer is telling them.
We can use the footage expose the deceitful tactics used to collect the signatures, but there are no legal remedies for this wrong. Perhaps the legislature will seen the footage and hear enough complaints to change the signature gathering laws in the future. That would be the best outcome in this case.
If you like the work we are doing, please make a contribution to the project. We don’t yet have enough funds to complete the trip and make it home. Every bit helps. Thanks. You can donate online here, or mail a check made out to Driving Equality to:
c/o Tom Mason
51 Peninsula Drive
Lunenburg, MA 01462