Failure to put Initiative 1192 on the ballot signals Washington residents have more to think about than a narrow definition of matrimony.

AN initiative effort to define marriage as only between a man and a woman failed to secure a spot on the November ballot. Indeed, the campaign was a complete and utter flop.

Good for Washington residents. They clearly have more important things on their minds than keeping loving couples from establishing lives together, raising families and embracing all the responsibilities that entails.

Stephen Pidgeon, sponsor of Initiative 1192, told The Olympian he was more than 140,000 signatures short of meeting Friday’s deadline for turning in petitions to the Office of the Secretary of State in Olympia.

Yes, just a bit short. The initiative drive needed 241,153 valid signatures of registered voters by the deadline as part of qualifying for the November ballot. Maybe Pidgeon was distracted. He is also running as a Republican for attorney general.

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It is safer to assume the moment has passed for a social issue with no rational starting place. Legal recognition of gay marriage does not impugn or threaten heterosexual marriage in any way.

The Legislature reached this conclusion earlier this year with the bipartisan decision to legalize gay marriage. A measure Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law amid a joyful scene in the state Capitol.

Now it’s on hold. Another petition drive put the legislation before voters as Referendum 74. Voters will be asked to endorse or reject Senate Bill 6239. The right and proper vote in November is Yes on Referendum 74.

Washington is ready to move ahead. The degree to which I-1192 was ignored by Washington residents makes that clear.