College Campuses Statewide Form Leadership Teams to Support Washington United for Marriage & Approve Referendum 74

More than 24 universities and colleges now have student-led leadership teams which are driving a new level of campus involvement in defending the bipartisan marriage law and Referendum 74 through chapters of Students United for Marriage (SUM).  These SUM teams, which are expanding daily, will focus on voter registration, volunteer recruitment, broad outreach and GOTV activities.

Washington United for Marriage (WUM) reports that SUM teams are established on a variety of campuses, from smaller community colleges such as Green River Community College and Spokane Falls Community College, to Jesuit and Catholic institutions such as Seattle University and Gonzaga University, to large state schools such as the University of Washington and Washington State University, and even on nearby out-of-state campuses, including the University of Idaho. All told, the campuses represent more than 200,000 students.

Campus leadership teams and supporters represent a wide variety of students and student groups including Democrats, Republicans, LGBT groups, environmentalists, athletes, fraternities and sororities, and student leaders.

“Seventy-five percent of young people, between the age of 18 and 26, support the freedom to marry,” said WUM campaign manager Zach Silk. “Young people just fundamentally get it. In fact, many of them can’t believe that our law would face this kind of challenge.  They want to marry the person they love one day, and they want the same for their friends and family. To them, it’s just that simple. We are so grateful for this outpouring of student support.”

Activities around college campuses this week include more than 20 student phone banks across the state, and canvassing on or near all of the campuses with Students for Marriage chapters.

Students can track events and read about on-campus activities at the new Students United for Marriage Facebook page:

A sampling of student leaders on Referendum 74 and the freedom to marry follows:

“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,” said Mark Seymoure, a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of Puget Sound.

“I support Referendum 74 because as a Christian student, I am called to be a servant of justice and love,” said Meghan Kennedy, Seattle University’s campus ministry. “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.”

 “The freedom to marry matters to me because as a minority, I understand the importance of fairness and equal-treatment for everyone,” said Michael Anderson, Gonzaga University, Black Student Union. “Upholding marriage for all will help open the door to the day when our differences become just another part of who we all are.”

“I will vote to approve referendum 74, because marriage for all makes sense. Most young people agree that everyone should be able to marry the person they love. That’s the kind of world I want to live in, and that’s why I’m urging everyone I know to approve R74.” said Evan Smith, a student leader at the University of Washington.

We want to send a message to voters that young students are fully supportive of all loving and committed couples’ freedom to be married, and we are committed to helping ensure that Washington State makes history this year by Approving Referendum 74,” said Brittney “Blue” Gaston, a Gonzaga University student. “I believe youth have a strong and clear voice on this issue, and it is inspiring to see how, together, we are making sure it is heard.”

Students are among the many constituencies working hard to approve Referendum 74. Others include the faith community, communities of color, businesses – large and small, labor unions, women’s organizations, child advocacy groups and human rights organizations.  (A list of WUM’s endorsers is here: