King County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a 23-year-old Burien man suspected of tearing a “Reject R-74” sign off a campaign volunteer’s car and calling her names, then shoving another woman who tried to help her.
Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said the man was arrested at a house in the 900 block of 164 St. S.E. just after 10:00 this morning. He was booked in the King County Jail for investigation of malicious harassmentt.
The case will be forwarded to the prosecutor for review, West said.
Referendum 74 is the ballot measure that asks voters to approve or reject the state’s new same-sex marriage law.
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A spokesman with the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign, which is seeking to repeal the law, said the 61-year-old campaign volunteer was going to distribute the signs in her car to other workers on Sunday when the incident happened. A second woman witnessed it and stepped in to help, at which point the man allegedly pushed that woman and called her by a racial slur.
Officials with the opposing campaign have said that while they condemn any acts of this kind, claims of harassment are tactics that opponents of same-sex marriage have used in the past, including during a same-sex marriage battle in California in 2008.