Opponents of gay marriage say their campaign is under attack

With the Nov. 6 election less than three weeks away, things are getting heated in one of the state’s most controversial ballot measures. Opponents of gay marriage say their campaign is coming under attack.

Gov. Chris Gregoire spoke on a night of celebration for supporters of gay marriage Thursday night in Seattle.

Zach Silk, with Washington United for Marriage, said, “Tonight is about coming together and supporting the freedom to marry, for all loving couples.”

The event was a far cry from a rally earlier Thursday by opponents of the gay marriage referendum, R-74.

Chip White, with the opposing Preserve Marriage Washington, said same-sex marriage activists disrupted speakers, taunted the crowd and ripped campaign signs out of the ground.

That came one day after King County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man for malicious harassment, saying he tore a “Reject R-74” off a volunteer’s car and shoved a woman who came to her rescue.

“He yelled at the top of his lungs, he screamed at her, he said, ‘I`m gay and I`m proud and I hate you,’ ” White said.

He added that several of his group’s signs have been stolen, spray-painted, even burned around the state.

Silk called what happened this week isolated incidents and the majority of supporters of gay marriage are respectful of the other side.

“Everybody on either side of this issue, passions run deep,” Silk said. “But we all want to make sure that at the end of this campaign, we go back to our regular lives and we want to respect one another.”

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