Photo of the Day: October 21, 2012

State Senator Ed Murray speaks at the Approve 74 Ballot Party on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

Posted by sylvia | October 21, 2012

‘DRAW Your Family’ Contest!

Caspar Babypants says it best: Families can look different, but they are all valuable and all deserve a chance to shine!

Here’s your child’s chance to show off their family and shine. Have your child draw a picture of their family and submit their creation to our “Draw Your Family” contest for a chance to win a prize pack including movie passes, zoo passes, and gift certificates to Ivars.

One winner will be selected from each of the following age categories:

  • 5-7
  • 8-11
  • 12 and up

Please email all submissions to colleen [at] washingtonunited [dot] org by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 19th. Winners will be showcased on the Washington United for Marriage Facebook page.

Posted by sylvia | October 16, 2012

Children + Families Week: The Bessler-Rutledge & Lufkin families

The Lufkin & Bessler-Rutledge Families

Erin Hawkinson and Heidi Rutledge met in grad school in 1996. They got their first teaching jobs at the same high school, became roommates, and carpooled to and from work together.

Not long after embarking on their careers, Heidi met a lovely woman named Jen and fell madly in love with her. Erin met and fell in love with a fellow named Mike later that same year. Heidi and Jen attended Erin and Mike’s wedding two years later.

The two couples have stayed close over the years. Heidi’s partner Jen plays in the same soccer league as Erin, while their kids play against each other in the YMCA soccer league. All the kids (and sometimes parents, too…) enjoy a similar rivalry in their Nerf battles when they get together. The families vacation together, teaching each other’s kids to downhill ski and waging epic snowball fights.

As teachers, Erin and Heidi both have summers off. They spend lots of time together meeting up at parks so the kids can bike, swim & play. The two families also love to hike and explore mountain trails together. Heidi and Jen share the same hopes for their kids as Erin and Mike. They share the same challenges as busy parents, and the same joys in the day to day successes of their children.

Erin & Mike hope that Washington State voters Approve Referendum 74 so they can finally watch their good friends Jen and Heidi get married, and so the two families can both enjoy the recognition and security that comes with marriage.

Posted by sylvia | October 14, 2012

Approve 74 outnumbers opposition at Reject 74 rally in Seattle

What happens when the opposition throws a rally, but only a handful of people show up? You end up with an event in downtown Seattle that attracts more opposition than support.

As reported by the Seattle Stranger:

One of today’s organizers described it as a pastor’s rally, explaining that “we expect 30 pastors to arrive and proclaim that God’s definition of marriage is one man, one woman.” But those 30 pastors failed to materialize by 12:15 p.m., when the rally was scheduled to begin.


One of today’s organizers described it as a pastor’s rally, explaining that “we expect 30 pastors to arrive and proclaim that God’s definition of marriage is one man, one woman.” But those 30 pastors failed to materialize by 12:15 p.m., when the rally was scheduled to begin.

Meanwhile, across the Plaza, people of faith supporting Approve Referendum 74, quietly assembled and held up their Approve 74 signs and banners in a silent demonstration
of love and support.


One supporter even supplied Starbucks coffee (Starbucks is a supporter of Marriage Equality and Approve 74) to the assembled group during the protest.

Addressing the anemic rally turnout, Chip White, a spokesperson for the opposition approached the Stranger reporter:

“This is a press conference not a rally,” he said, perhaps by way of apology for the tepid turnout. “We were only expecting five pastors and I think we’ve exceeded our expectations.” [The Reporter] then asked him if he could send The Stranger the press release. White said that was impossible because he was “here, obviously.”

Posted by sylvia | October 13, 2012

BUSTED: More Old, Discredited Claims in New Reject R-74 Ad

Image: Flickr/The Rocketeer

Our opponents leading the Reject R-74 campaign are up with a new ad dredging up old claims and fear tactics to scare and misinform voters about Washington’s bipartisan marriage law. You can see the new ad here.

Said WUM Campaign Manager Zach Silk: “It’s ironic to us that our opponents, who claim to oppose the freedom to marry on behalf of children and families, would actually seek to treat one set of children differently from another. If they really cared about doing all that we can as a society to help kids succeed and thrive, then they should embrace marriage for those parents so that all families are treated equally and fairly.”

Among the “busted” claims in the ad are these:

CLAIM: “Gays and Lesbians already have the same legal rights as married couples.”

FACTS: While domestic partnerships are legal in Washington, states that have passed such laws have found them to be fundamentally unequal and harmful. [See herehere, and here.] As the Supreme Court of Connecticut wrote in 2008 when it struck down a statute that prohibited same-sex marriage, civil unions and marriage “are by no means ‘equal.’”  The court explained in its opinion: “Despite the truly laudable effort of the legislature in equalizing the legal rights afforded same sex and opposite sex couples, there is no doubt that civil unions enjoy a lesser status in our society than marriage.” 

CLAIM: Marriage “was created for the care and well-being of the next generation.”

FACTS: Many households headed by same-sex couples in the U.S. are raising children. According to the U.S. Census, approximately 20 percent of same-sex couples are raising nearly 250,000 children.  Children being raised by loving, committed same-sex couples – like all children – deserve the protections that come from allowing their parents to marry.  

CLAIM: “When laws like 74 have occurred elsewhere, people who disagree have faced lawsuits, fines, and punishment.”

FACTS: Seattle Times national investigation “failed to turn up any evidence that same-sex marriage had produced a rash of suits involving businesspeople.”  The newspaper “also checked with human rights commissions in four of the six states where marriage is legal; the commissions said there was not an increase in discrimination findings or suits involving same sex marriage.”


Posted by sylvia | October 11, 2012

Children + Families Week: Anna’s Family

[Cross-posted from the Pride Foundation Blog]

I’m lucky to have five sisters: four I grew up with, and one that came to me by love. All of us have— or are about to have— children. And all of us are in strong, loving committed marriages. Except one of them isn’t recognized by law.

Here’s another way I’m lucky: my sister Molly is also just about my very best friend. She’s got a huge, loving, generous heart. She couldn’t be a more devoted aunt to my two daughters. She makes me laugh, she cries with me, she loves and supports me always. I like to think I do the same for her.

Just about 10 years ago, Molly told me she was gay. Throughout the difficult months that followed, we reached a whole new level of closeness.

I couldn’t have been happier when Molly and April became a couple. Not just because of how great they were together, but because of how much I connected with April. Almost instantly, she became an integral part of our family. I warned Molly that we might have to keep April around instead of her if they broke up. I was only half kidding.  I’ve come to think of April as my sister and have begun referring to her as my sister-in-love.

Now, nearly ten years after their meeting, Molly and April have a family of their own: a sweet and hilarious 2-year-old daughter and a son due any day. And although I have been married to a wonderful man for 21 years—and gave birth to my first daughter five years after that—I am constantly learning about the true nature of love from Molly, April and the family they’ve created together. I am so lucky to have April as my sister-in-love. Someday soon, though, I hope she can be my sister-in-law as well.

Anna McAllister lives in Seattle

Posted by sylvia | October 10, 2012

Welcome to Children & Families week!

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to hear a lot of misleading rhetoric from our opponents about what approving Referendum 74 means for Washington. And no matter how they characterize same-sex couples and their families or how many times mischaracterize the impact of defending marriage equality in our state, it’s important for us to remember what this campaign is all about: ensuring that all Washington families can share in the protections that only marriage provides.


Posted by sylvia | October 9, 2012

Quote of the Day: October 3, 2012

“I support Referendum 74 because as a Christian student, I am called to be a servant of justice and love,”…“Approving Referendum 74 means gays and lesbians can express their love and commitment to one another in front of their friends, family, and congregations. I look forward to living in a state where everyone can marry the person they love.”–Meghan Kennedy, Campus Ministry, Seattle University

Posted by sylvia | October 3, 2012

Quote of the Day: October 2, 2012

“I support this campaign and the freedom to marry because I think it’s the most important ballot issue this November and my friends should be able to marry who they love,” -Mark Seymoure, Sigma Chi Fraternity member, University of Puget Sound.

Posted by sylvia | October 2, 2012

31 Days 4 Marriage

Posted by sylvia | October 1, 2012