Communities of Color Approve R-74

Communities of Color stand together in support of marriage equality in Washington State.  With strong values of family, commitment, and unity we recognize the importance of the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples. Referendum 74 will strengthen all our communities.

We know that gay and lesbian couples want the same things in life other couples do – to be a family, to help neighbors in times of need, to stand in front of friends and family and pledge a lifelong commitment, and to take care of each other in life’s most important and, sometimes, challenging moments. When we focus on shared values, it becomes clear and that we can provide a strong and unified voice for marriage equality in Washington State.

This September, we announced our support for the freedom to marry and the approval of Referendum 74 from Communities of Color. Click here to view the press release announcing the support.

The following fact sheets give more information on the freedom to marry for the African-American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino and Native American communities. Also below are fact sheets translated into Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese and Spanish. Click on the fact sheet to download your own copy to share with friends, family and neighbors.


Asian and Pacific Islanders Approve R-74

Latinos Approve R-74

Native Americans Approve R-74

Mandarin Chinese Translation

Korean Translation

Vietnamese Translation

Spanish Translation

Read the stories or watch the videos below and learn why marriage for gay and lesbian couples is important to all communities of color.  And at the bottom of the page, take a look at our endorsements from organizations and leaders from communities of color.


Roz Edison and Kamala Saxton

Roz and Kamala

Kamala and Roz are the owners of the popular food truck, Marination Mobile, and its two brick and mortar complements: Marination Station and Marination ma kai.  They have been together nearly nine years. The couple wants to know they can, should they choose to, formalize their relationship in a manner that will be respected in the same way as relationships of their heterosexual friends and family.

“We want legal marriage to be an option for us.  Right now we are unquestionably partners, but that term is ambiguous, especially because we co-own a business together.  Legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples will allow the same freedom and rights as heterosexual couples.  Without this right, we are being denied a choice that many of our friends and family have.  We want a choice of whether or not we get married.  It would mean a legal status, as a spouse, that is not up for interpretation.”  –Kamala Saxton


Ollie Harper and Erika White

Mother Ollie Harper sums it up well, “You have to treat your child the way you want to be treated.  I’ve lived my life and now I want to be happy for my child.  That’s how I look at it.  She found herself a soul mate and that’s the way it is.  We sit and talk and laugh together – we’re a family.”



Pablo Monroy


Glen Tamura and Ken Comstock

“We’ve been together 20 plus years.  We began raising three active boys over 17 years ago. We want the recognition that comes with marriage.”





Patricia Flores


Martha Choe

“I have friends and esteemed colleagues who are gay or lesbian.  Their relationships are loving and committed – fundamental qualities of a strong marriage and family.  I support the freedom to marry because I want to strengthen all families in our communities.” –Martha Choe, Asian American Community and Civic Leader


Mel Pineda Medina and Maya Medina 

Mel and Maya knew their relationship was a long-term thing from the very beginning.  They have been together for 19 years.  They both come from Catholic families.  At first their families were not supportive of the relationship, but after many years together the family is now very supportive.  During the holidays, their dog Aren is showered by Christmas gifts from everyone in the family.  The couple plan to get married on their anniversary and, of course, Aren will be the ring-bearer.


Pastors Darrell and Marshan Goodwin-Moultry 

Darrell and Marshan met at United Church of Christ in San Francisco where they were both visiting pastors.  Their relationship was blessed from the beginning.  “We spent a lot of time together and it soon became clear that God had put a work in motion. A wonderful friendship was quickly becoming more. It was amazing to see God’s hand at work through the whole process and to still see his hand guiding us daily.”

Their family is supportive of their relationship.  “Some people have a hard time with it.  We were brought up differently.  In my conversations with Darrell I have learned a lot.  Life is a journey for all of us,” says Darrell’s Grandmother Roberta.  “I love him.  If he is happy, I am happy.  The boys are both in Church, both ministers.  They can support each other.  Our family will always be there for each other.  What’s important is that we stay together as a family.”

Darrell states, “The ability to marry legally in Washington State would give validity to our relationship that doesn’t come with a domestic partnership.  We are husbands.  We live in this state.  It is our home. We want the pride of saying we are married at home.  We want to know that we can be together when it matters the most.  Marshan is diabetic.  If anything happened to him, I could say we were legally married in New York, but that doesn’t give me access to his medical records, access to him.  Not knowing if I could have access to him, as his spouse, makes me feel like I’d be unable to care for him when he needs me the most.  That’s a reality.”


Karolina & Yasmin Longoria 

“There was a power that bonded us to each other. We quickly learned that this power would break down walls, heal broken hearts and give us the strength to make it through life’s hardest up’s and down’s. We are made for each other. Our relationship is successful not only because the powers that put us together, but because we work hard to continue moving forward.  No relationship is perfect, you have your struggles and obstacles but if you are a team you will overcome it all and be even stronger in the end.”


State Representative Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, D-Seattle

“I have two gay sons and I’m very proud of them.  They deserve the same rights and privileges as their brothers and sisters.  Approving Referendum 74 will ensure all loving and committed couples have the freedom to marry.”




Andre Randolph and Alison Shigaki

“There was a time when our own marriage would have been called into question in many parts of the country because we are an interracial couple. The freedom to marry is something that we take very seriously. It’s an issue of equality that is really important to us. The desire for gay and lesbian couples to get married is about having the same protections and recognition that we do. No one questions the validity of our relationship or what we mean to each other. We want this for same-sex couples too.”


Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland


Yee-Shin Huang and Shaun Knittel

Yee Shin Huang and Shaun Knittel offer the following message about the importance of the freedom to marry.  “It is very difficult and exhausting explaining what partner means.  Everyone understands marriage.  We call each other husbands because that is what we are to each other.  We want to make sure that for the rest of our life together, we can take care of each other.  When you love somebody, what you want more than anything is to protect them, especially in times of need.”


Kip Tokuda


Ron Jones and Michael Theisen

Ron and Michael have been together for the past 32 years.  They have supported each other through the wonderful moments and the challenges that committed couples face.  When asked what the freedom to marry in Washington State would mean to them Ron says, “Marriage would be a continuation for me, as an African-American, of obtaining equal rights.  Having been a child in the south and growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, this all really resonates for me.”  Michael adds “It would be nice to be able to refer to Ron as my husband when that’s what he’s been for 32 years!”


As a campaign, we have more than 750 endorsing organizations and businesses who have joined our coalition. These coalition partners are from business, faith, non-profit, children’s advocacy, in addition to our endorsements from communities of color. See the list below for some of our organizational and individual endorsements. Is your organization ready to endorse the campaign? Click here for a link to fill out our organizational endorsement form.

Communities of Color Who have Endorsed Referendum 74

API Chaya
API Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF)
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition
Asian Counseling Referral Service
Asian and Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC)
Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment (APACE)
Black Collective
Community to Community Development
Consejo Counseling and Referral Service
El Centro de la Raza
El Comite
Entre Hermanos
Filipino Lawyers of Washington
Interim CDA
Japanese American Citizens League Seattle Chapter (JACL)
Latino Civic Alliance
Latino Community Fund
Latino Political Action Committee
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
NAACP Area Conference of Washington, Oregon and Alaska
NAACP Seattle-King County
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (NCAPCD)
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
OneAmerica Votes
Organization of Chinese Americans of Greater Seattle (OCA)
Suquamish Tribe
United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance (UTOPIA)


Elected Official Endorsements

State Representative Bob Hasegawa
State Representative Cindy Ryu
State Representative Eric Pettigrew
State Representative John McCoy
State Representative Luis Moscoso
State Representative Phyllis Guiterez Kenney
State Representative Sharon Tomiko-Santos
Mayor of Tacoma Marilyn Strickland
Tacoma City Councilmember Victoria Woodards
Port Orchard City Councilmember Fred Chang
Seattle Port Commissioner Rob Holland
Former King County Executive Ron Sims
Former State Senator Claudia Kauffman
Former State Representative, Court Appeals Judge, and Chief of the Office of Administrative Hearings Art Wang
Former State Representative Kip Tokuda
Former State Representative Velma Veloria
Former Mayor of Tacoma Harold Moss
Former Seattle City Councilmember David Della
Former Seattle City Councilmember Delores Sibonga
Former Seattle City Councilmember Martha Choe
Former Seattle City Councilmember Sherry Harris
Former Highline School Board Member Sili Savusa


Individual Endorsements from Communities of Color

Aaliyah Gupta
Akemi Matsumoto
Alaric Bien
Albert Shen
Alice Mar-Abe
Alison Fujimoto
Alma Kern
Anita Morales
Anju Ganti
Anne Takekawa
Anne Wong
Arron Kong
Ashley Vue
Ben Henry
Bill Tashima
Binah Palmer
Candace Inagi
Carl Cording
Caroline Li
Carolyn Randall
Cathleen Gosho
Cathy Liu Scott
Cherry Cayabyab
Chi Chan Saeteurn
Chio Saeteurn
Christopher Castaneda-Barajas
Christy Tran
Cindy Domingo
Craig Kanaya
Danny Nguyen
Darrell and Marshan Goodwin-Moultry
David Leigh
David Perez
DeAnn Thompson
Diane Narasaki
Dori Baker
Doug Chin
Elaine Ishihara
Eric Liu
Fe Lopez
Frank Irigon
Frieda Takamura
Fumiko Groves
George Cheung
George Griffin
Gina Nguyen
Gina Peterson
Heather Villanueva
Heidi Park
Helen Kond
Hyeok Kim
Isabel Francesca Castaneda-Barajas
Jack Chen
Janeiro Bento
Janice Deguchi
Jasmine Marwaha
Jennifer Chan
Jennifer Ramirez Robson
Jesse del Rosario
Joan Yoshitomi
Joyce Tseng
Kalila Griffin
Katharyn Young
Keith Yamaguchi
Kevin Saeteurn
Kien-Anh King
Kim Le
Kristin Quirk
Kristina Logsdon
Lanna Saeteurn
Lauren Kreutzer
Lesli Sumida
Leslie Christen
Liezl Rebugio
Lika Smith
Linh Thai
Lisa Lam
Lisa Unsoeid-Chang
Lorena Gonzalez
Lua Pritchard
Luzviminda Carpenter
Magdaleno “Leno” Rose-Avila
Maree Ness
Margaret Moore
Maria Martinez
Mark Okazaki
Mary Fung Koehler
Matt Kumasaka
Mauricio Ayon
McKenzie Chen
Merissa McFarland
Merrill Gosho
Mia McFarland
Michael Itti
Michelle Dennis
Mihae Jung
Monica Garcia
Nanette Fok
Naomi Ishisaki
Nathaniel Kiehn
Pablo Monroy
Patricia Flores
Patsy Whitefoot
Peter and Vaughnetta J. Barton
Phil Flores
Phillip Dong
Pramila Jayapal
Rahul Gupta
Rev. Patricia Hunter
Ricardo Garcia
Richard Cross
Rick Polintan
Robert Moore
Robin Calderon
Rochelle Fonoti
Rosalynn Kuo
Ruth Woo
Ruthann Kurose
Saelei Chan
Sally Mary de Leon
Savitha Pathi
Senait Brown
Sharonne Navas
Sofia Aragon
Stacey Swanby
Stefan Kiehn
Stella Chao
Steven Nguyen
Storme Webber
Sudha Nandagopal
Susan Cedervall
Tania Maria Rosario
Teddy Lew
Toi-Sing Woo
Tony Lee
ToryAn Dixon
Tuemin Um
Unjin Lee
Vanessa Hernandez
Vanessa Lovejoy-Guron
Victoria Woodards
Vickie Ybarra
Vivian Lactaoen
Xia Vue
Xuan-Trang Tran-Thien