Public figures debate over gay marriage

Published On: Oct 04 2012 08:40:31 PM PDT   Updated On: Oct 04 2012 08:45:56 PM PDT
Public figures debate over gay marriage
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The debate on gay marriage in Washington will be settled by voters next month. If Referendum 74 is approved, then same-sex marriage will become legal. If the referendum is rejected, it will not.

The Spokane Rotary Club held an educated discussion on the issue Thursday at noon. On one side was Bishop Cupich, a Catholic who is against the referendum. He argued if the concept of marriage simply becomes about relationships,, what says it won't be limited to two people in the future.

"If this law is changed, this is just the beginning of problems that will have to be addressed down the road," Cupich said.

He also argued that it wouldn't give any more rights to people in a domestic partnership.

On the other side of the issue, Democratic City Councilman Jon Snyder spoke in favor of the referendum. Snyder says his mother was gay, and the word "marriage" matters for same-sex couples, their children and their lives in society.

"Aren't we ready to end the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples and families from the institution of marriage?" Snyder said.

Referendum 74 read:

"The bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to perform, recognize or accommodate any marriage ceremony."

According to the election voters guide there is a financial impact as well. If the referendum is approved the state would lose $81,000 in revenue in domestic partnership filings in the next five years. But counties would see an increase of $128,000 in revenue for marriage filings in the same time. It would also cost the state $15,000 for mailings to people who are in a domestic partnership.

Election Day is November 6.