Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ding, Dong the Bells Are Chiming for Equal Marriage in WA State

From my post on

I am writing this blog entry on Thursday, December 6, 2012, which is marrying day in Washington state. My mouth is agape as I look at the series of photographs from the Seattle Post Intelligencer, taken outside of the King County offices in Seattle, Washington, where couples are lined up before 12 midnight, waiting to get a marriage license.
I’ve driven pass the county offices where marriage licenses are obtained near my house in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and there is never a waiting line for this piece of paper. But the marriage licenses in Washington are unique to that state and eight other states, because they allow same-sex couples the right to marry, just like straight couples. A new day is dawning in one more state!
I was in Washington the day that the state approved the legislation paving the way forward for marriage equality after 41 years of people struggling for this right, LGBTQ and straight alike. Soon after, there was a petition drive, led by those against marriage equality, to put this new law on the ballot as a referendum, giving the people the right to vote whether they approved of it or not. Signatures were collected around the state, and within no time, it became a ballot initiative, to be voted on by the people on Nov. 6, 2012. It was given the designation of “Referendum 74,” known far and wide as the marriage equality bill. Online, the fight in Washington state against marriage equality echoed the struggle we went through in North Carolina as we dedicated ourselves to defeat the amendment to our state constitution that would forbid it. Many of the same groups who worked hard to pass the amendment were in Washington state, using the same argument and tactics they used in NC. This time, the outcome was different, which gave all of us great sense of joy with a tinge of forlornness, for I live in a state that is going backwards on matters of civil rights.
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