The speculation here (and elsewhere) has been that attitudes toward same-sex marriage have been changing considerably through this decade. When Washington's legislature passed its Defense of Marriage Act in 1998, that seemed like the clear majority-popular thing to do. When the legislature this spring passed the "everything but marriage" bill (Senate Bill 5688) to allow state-recognized same-sex partnerships, that was by then thought to represent a majority (if, obviously, far from universal) view. And now?
Well, now, we sort of get to find out where the public stands. Referendum 71, which would repeal the "everything but" law, was just declared ballot-qualified - it got barely enough signatures to clear the bar, just over the 120,000 or so signatures it needed. It was a close enough call that for the last couple of weeks the outcome was unclear.
That suggests the proponents have an uphill battle ahead of them. A little over two months, and Washington should be an interesting test of where the public stands now in this front of the culture wars.