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Posts for July, 2014

They Didn’t Know What They Were Up Against

Jim Burroway

July 1st, 2014
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A group of Christians protesters tried to disrupt the start of Seattle’s gay pride parade last Sunday. They tried to invoke the power of Jesus Christ, but they failed to take into account the power of Mama Tits:

MamaTits“I saw them coming up the road pre-Parade and looked at Sylvia and DonnaTella and said, ‘Ladies, let’s make a wall!’ Before I knew it, I was standing tits to nose with the leader guy on the megaphone. It felt like I had the strength of all the people who had ever been hurt by these people standing right behind be me giving me power! I was almost in auto-pilot mode from my days as a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence. I planted myself in his path and wouldn’t move. When he walked around me, I got back in front of him again and again.I stared him in the eyes and could see the pain in his eyes, I could see he was scared and he should have been. He tried to hit me with his sign, but like Bianca Del Rio says “Not Today, Satan!”

I pushed his sign away from my face and hair, because you DO NOT TOUCH my hair. And, it was all I could do to NOT get violent, but I didn’t because once that happens, we all lose. They tried to surround me in an intimidation tactic, but let’s face it, I’m fucking HUGE and it didn’t work at all! The police came to me and asked to let them pass, and told me not to let them get me upset. I told the cops I wasn’t upset, but I WILL defend myself when assaulted, and they needed to remove them from our Parade. I then walked over and grabbed my mic and started to get the crowd involved. I wanted them to make so much joyful noise to drown out the hate… and, boy did they ever! The crowd made the walls rattle down on 4th and Pine!

The Seattle Nightclub Was Targeted Once Before

Jim Burroway

January 3rd, 2014

Back in 1990, three white supremacists were found guilty of conspiring the bomb Seattle’s Neighbors Bar. The three were arrested the day before they were to plant their four pipe bombs in an alley and phone in a bomb threat. The plan was to detonate the bombs after everyone evacuated out the back emergency exit. The longest sentence handed down was to the ring leader, who was given just a nine year sentence.

Soldiers save Seattle gay club

Timothy Kincaid

January 3rd, 2014

When the Defense Department’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was overturned and gay soldiers could serve openly, anti-gay activists warned of unexpected consequences. And, in a way, they were right.

On New Year’s Eve, someone entered Seattle’s Neighbors Bar, poured gasoline on the stairway, and set the club on fire. What happened next illustrates one unexpected consequence of having trained soldiers who are a part of all walks of life. (kirotv)

In the first few seconds after the fire roared up the back stairway of Neighbours nightclub in Seattle, US Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Bostick was one of a few New Year’s Eve revelers who reacted immediately.

“I’m embarrassed to say, my first move was to go after it with cups of water. Then I quickly realized, this fire is way bigger than that, he said.

In the next breath, the Army Intelligence veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan tours sharpens his tone, as if news of impending violence is to follow.

“You know, in 30 seconds, if that fire did what the arsonist intended, there’s no telling how many people could have died.”

While 750 people counted down to the new year, Bostick rushed to grab a fire extinguisher from behind the bar. He and Air Force member Mike Casey went to work putting out the gasoline-fueled fire.

“It was like the Carrie movie,” Bostick recounted, “you see just fire everywhere. And that’s all you can see and for a second, that’s all you’re focused on.”

The crowd evacuated smoothly, no one was hurt, and the police are investigating.

One Photo

Jim Burroway

December 6th, 2012

Larry Duncan, 56, and Randy Shepherd, 48, have been together for eleven years. Photographer Meryl Schenker took this photo as they applied for a marriage license in the King County Administration Building at about 1:30 a.m. More of Schenker’s photos here.

Two Sentences

Rob Tisinai

December 6th, 2012

Sometimes two sentences is all it takes to make you cry.

The couple who received the very first marriage license, though, was Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, and Pete-e Peterson, 85, who have been together over 35 years. They met on a blind date in 1977 and believed they would die before they could legally wed.

Washingtonians Make Wedding Plans

Jim Burroway

December 6th, 2012

Jane Abbott Lighty and Pete-e Petersen of West Seattle have been waiting 35 years for this day.

Same-sex couples throughout Washington State are taking out marriage licenses today, and The Stranger has a good celebratory round-up. Because Washington requires a three day waiting period for all weddings, the first ceremonies will take place Sunday.

NOM Reacts

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

Nope. Nothing historic to see here:

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), released the following statement today:

“Obviously we are very disappointed in losing four tough election battles by narrow margins. We knew long ago that we faced a difficult political landscape with the four marriage battles occurring in four of the deepest-blue states in America. As our opponents built a huge financial advantage, the odds became even steeper. We ran strong campaigns and nearly prevailed in a very difficult environment, significantly out-performing the GOP ticket in every state.

Despite the fact that NOM was able to contribute a record amount to the campaigns (over $5.5 million), we were still heavily outspent, by a margin of at least four-to-one. We were fighting the entirety of the political establishment in most of the states, including sitting governors in three of the states who campaigned heavily for gay marriage. Our opponents and some in the media will attempt to portray the election results as a changing point in how Americans view gay marriage, but that is not the case. Americans remain strongly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states.

Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it. Marriage is a true and just cause, and we will never abandon the field of battle just because we experienced a setback. There is much work to do, and we begin that process now.”

From 1961 to 2012: Today’s Victories Were A Long Time Coming

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

Fifty-one years ago today, José Sarria, a drag performer at San Francisco’s famed Black Cat bar, lost his bid for election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Desite the loss, his election was historic as an openly gay candidate stood for election for the first time. Sarria earned nearly 6,000 votes, putting him in nineth place city-wide in a contest for five at-large seats. Ninth out of thirty-four, which mean that, as Sarria later recalled, “From that day on, nobody ran for anything in San Francisco without knocking on the door of the gay community.”

Fifty-one years later, the long-unimaginable happened. A president ended a ban on gays in the military, ordered his Justice Department to stop defending the DOMA, and announced his full support for the rights of everyone to marry. He was re-elected, against a candidate who was against all of those things. Five openly gay candidates for Congress won their races, and for the first time, a lesbian will sit in the Senate. In none of those races were the candidates’ sexual orientation a major issue.

And after voters in 31 states voted to add bans on same-sex marriage to their state constitutions, Minnesota voters stopped the tide and refused to write discrimination into their organizing document. But that’s not all. Voters in three states (assuming the victory in Washington holds) have gone much further than ever before. Citizens in Maine, Maryland and Washington have given their approval to allow their gay and leasbian neighbors to actually begin marrying in the next couple of months. They didn’t just say no to a permanent ban while existing laws continued to prevent gay people from marrying. They changed existing law so that those marriages can take place.

And they did that at the ballot box. Remember how our opponents always said that every time voters weighted in on marriage , they always voted to deny marriage equality? No more. I would love to be sitting in the offices at the Family “Research” Council and National Organization for Marriage right now. They have seen their era end right before their eyes. But make no mistake: they will also steadfastly refuse to acknowledge its importance.

Right now, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry. By the end of January, two and probably three more states will join them. But in the best case, less than 16% of Americans will live in states with marriage equality. Yes, that’s nearly a third higher now, but it just goes to show how far we still have to go.

It will be generations, I think, before we can win marriage equality throughout the U.S. at the ballot box. In fact, there are some states where that will never happen; it will also take some key court victories before all Americans are created equal. We will undoubtedly experience more losses and setbacks in the years ahead. But every great movement moves forward one step at a time. This was a big step, but it is only the latest one in a long line of just putting one foot in front of the other. We’ve been doing that for more than half a century. But right now it feels pretty good, now that we’re starting to get the hang of it.

Marriage Equality Wins In All Four States!

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

In the very early morning hours, vote tallies in Minnesota and Washington meant that those two states have joined Maryland and Maine in rejecting attempts by anti-gay activists to deny marriage equality to LGBT couples.

Voters in Minnesota rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, making Minnesota the first state to do so since 2006, when Arizona voters rejected a similar ban. (Arizona voters later approved a narrower ban on marriage only in 2008.) With 99% of the ballots counted, 1,504,189 (51.3%) voted against the Amendment 1 while 1,396,879 (47.6%) who voted for it. In addition, there were 31,886 (1.1%) blank ballots cast for Amendment 1. Those were ballots in which voters marked their choices for other races but left the ballot blank for Amendment 1. Because the Minnesota constitution requires that a proposed amendment pass with a majority of all ballots cast, the blank ballots are effectively count as “no” ballots.

In Washington state,the vote counting continues in the all mail-in state, but the news was also good. Referendum 74 was ahead by 985,308 (51.8%) to 917,197 (48.2%). Because a ballot must be postmarked by November 7, the vote count is likely to continue for several more days, but observers are optimistic that Washington will join Maine and Maryland in choosing marriage equality at the ballot box:

The holdup was King County, which still had tons of ballots to count. Still, with 65 percent of King County voters approving R-74 in the initial count, and that trend likely to continue through the full count, seasoned political watchers were predicting victory. “Fifty-two percent, with King County what it is—it’s still time to call Washington State for marriage equality,” said Governor Chris Gregoire.

Similarly, Matt Barreto, who runs the Washington Poll, projected that R-74 would be approved and added that he expected Jay Inslee to be the next governor. “King County delivered both,” Barreto said.

Gregoire, who had a late-career conversion on marriage equality, called her daughters up to the podium at the Westin and thanked them for changing her mind. “They told me, ‘This is the civil rights issue of this generation,’” Gregoire said. “They’re right.”

In related news, voters in Iowa rejected an attempted recall of Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, who joined in the unanimous 2009 decision which found denying marriage to same-sex couples unconstitutional. Social conservatives had mounted a fierce retention vote campaign to remove Wiggins from the bench. With 83% of the vote counted, Wiggins was retained with 54% of the vote.

These results represent a colossal, historic loss for National Organization for Marriage, anti-marriage strategist Frank Schubert, and anti-gay activists generally. Even if the decision in Washington should be reversed, this day represents a historic turning point in the fight for equality. Not only did voters defeat an attempt to permanently and constitutionally bar same-sex couples from marrying, but for the first time in history voters gave their approval for the right of their LGBT neighbors to protect their families with the rights and duties of legal marriage. There will be wins and loses to come, but future generations will today as the day in which the politics of division and demonization broke down and failed to do what they had reliably been counted on to accomplish before.  We have just seen history being made before our very eyes.

By the way, NOM has been silent so far. No press releases, no blog post. Just this plaintive tweet from about 11:00 p.m. EST last night:

Here is the latest rundown for all four states:

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 300,336 (53.3%) √
No: 262,820 (46.7%)
75.5% reporting.

Maine’s Secretary of State has up to 20 days to verify election results, and the governor has 10 days to do the same. After that, there is a 30 day delay before the law to goes into effect. Marriage equality will go into effect sometime between December 7, 2012 (30 days after the election) and January 6, 2013 (60 days after the election).

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 1,208,068 (52.0%) 
No: 1,112,998 (48.0%)
97.5% reporting.

Marriage equality will go into effect on January 1, 2013.

Minnesota, Amendment 1: Same-sex marriage ban.
No: 1,504,189 (51.3)%  √
Blanks: 31,892 (1.1%)
Yes: 1,396,879 (47.6%)
99.0% reporting.

There will be no change to Minnesota’s marriage law, which currently prohibits marriage between same-sex couples.

Washington, Referendum 74: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 985,308 (51.8)%  √
No: 917,197 (48.2%)
51.3% reporting.

Ballot counting will continue during regular working hours, with updated totals being posted throughout the afternoon for the next several days. If the current lead holds for Ref 74, marriage equality will go into effect on December 6, 2012.

Election Liveblog

Jim Burroway

November 6th, 2012

2:00 EST: One more thing:

Iowa Supreme Court Justice Retention Vote:
David Wiggins:
Yes (retain): 54% 
No: 46%
83% reporting.

NOM is having a very bad night. A historically bad night. I’m going to bed now and I will sleep very, very soundly.

1:39 EST: President Obama is now giving his victory speech. And with that, I’m going to sign off for the night. I will provide an update with the latest results again tomorrow morning.

1:30 EST: Here is a rundown of all of the LGBT-related races I’ve been following:

BALLOT MEASURES:

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 54.2% √
No: 45.8%
58.1% reporting.

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 51.2% 
No: 48.1%
96.8% reporting.

Minnesota, Amendment 1: Same-sex marriage ban.
No: 49.2.5%
Blanks: 1.5%
Yes: 49.2%
67.4% reporting.
Remember: The Amendment needs to pass by more than half of all ballots cast. Blanks will be added to the “no” vote for the final tally.

Washington, Referendum 74: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 51.8.9%
No: 48.2%
49.9% reporting.

SENATE RACE:

Wisconsin:
Tammy Baldwin (D, openly lesbian): 51.2%
Tommy Thompson (R): 46.2.%
86.8% reporting.

CONGRESSIONAL RACES:

Arizona:
Kyrsten Sinema (D, openly bi): 47.4%
Vernon Parker (R): 46.3%
86% reporting.

California:
Mark Takano (D, openly gay): 54.4%
John Tavaglione (R): 45.6%
13% reporting.

Colorado:
Jared Polis (D, openly gay): 54.6%
Kevin Lundberg (R): 40.4%
45.3% reporting.

Massachusetts:
Richard Tisei (R, openly gay): 47.1%
John Tierney (D) 48.4%
98.3% reporting.

New York:
Sean Patrick Maloney (D, openly gay): 51.7%
Nan Hayworth (R): 48.3%
96.7% reporting.

Rhode Island:
David Cicilline (D, openly gay): 53.1%
Brendan Dohert (R): 40.7%
97.0% reporting

Wisconsin:
Mark Pocan (D, openly gay): 67.4%
Chad Lee (R): 32.6%
90.5% reporting.

12:55 EST: Gov. Mitt Romney is now giving a very classy consession speech, congratulating President Obama for his win.

12:50 EST: Here is a rundown of the ballot measures addressing same-sex marriage. Voters in two states have approved marriage equality. Voters in Washington are on their way to approving marriage equality, and Minnesota voters look poised to turn down a proposal to write a permanent ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution. After voters in 30 states have written marriage equality bans into their state constitutions, we now have a remarkable turnaround in 2012. Remember this day.

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 54% 
No: 46%
51% Reporting

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 52% 
No: 48%
93% Reporting

Minnesota, Amendment 1: Same-sex marriage ban.
No: 48.5%
Blanks: 3.7%
Yes: 47.9%
53% reporting.
Remember: The Amendment needs to pass by more than half of all ballots cast. Blanks will be added to the “no” vote for the final tally.

Washington, Referendum 74: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 52%
No: 48%
50% reporting.

12:40 EST: Tammy Baldwin has now given her victory speech. With 79% reporting, she has defeated Gov. Tommy Thompson 51-47%, making her the first openly gay Senator in American history.

12:38 EST: Now I’m ready to call Maryland’s Question 6 a win for equality! With 92% reporting, Question 6 has passed 1,126,598 to 1,050,179 (52-48%) Maryland voters have joined those in Maine to approve marriage equality at the ballot box. I don’t know about you, but this really feels like a truly historic turning point.

12:30 EST: Colorado has now gone to Obama, bringing his lead to 290-201. There’s a lot of talk about whether Ohio was prematurely declared, but even if Ohio went red, this would still be Obama’s victory. An ugly one, especially if he doesn’t win the popular vote, but it is a win.

12:28 EST: Another gay congressman is headed to Washington. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) has defeated Rep. Nan Hayworth (R), 52%-48%.

12:15 EST: Believe it or not, Politico has had the results swapped between Question 6 and the “Illegal immigrant tuition” question all night long. For the love of god!!!  Question 6 is up, but only 52-48%, way too early to call.

12:00 EST: With 44.1% reporting in Maine, Question 1 is projected to win!

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 54.4%
No: 45.6%
44.1% Reporting

11:45 EST: With 81% reporting in Maryland, Question 6 is projected to win!

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 58%
No: 42%
81% Reporting

11:31 EST: Remember James Hartline?

I took my Bible with me today and proudly honored God with my decisions. I refused to vote for the demonized Mormon Cultist Mitt Romney or Obama. Instead, like nearly two million other voters, I marked other and wrote in Jesus.

11:30 EST: Has Tammy Baldwin won her Senate race? Reuters called it, but right now with 53% reporting, she is only up 49-48%. She may yet win, but it looks like a lot of folks might have jumped the gun a bit.

11:23 EST: CNN has given Ohio to Obama. President Barack Obama, the most pro-gay president in American history, has been re-elected.

11:05 EST: A slew of new projections has put Obama on top 243-191. Ohio continues to lean toward Romney, but CNN is now mapping out multiple possibilities for Obama to win even without Ohio.

Here are the state marriage ballot measures. All of them are still looking good so far.

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 53%
No: 47%
30% Reporting

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 58%
No: 42%
55% Reporting

Minnesota: Amendment 1: Same-sex marriage ban.
No: 52%
Blanks: 3.8%
Yes: 45%
19% Reporting
Remember: The Amendment needs to pass by more than half of all ballots cast. Blanks will be added to the “no” vote for the final tally.

10:55 EST: Obama is now tied with Romney, 172-172. Ohio is leaning toward Obama, and FLorida and Virginia are very nearly tied so far. It’s going to be a long night.

10:35 EST: Great news so far in the three states with marriage on the ballot that are reporting:

Maine, Question 1: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 55%
No: 45%
16% Reporting

Maryland, Question 6: Allow same-sex marriage.
Yes: 60%
No: 40%
41% Reporting

Minnesota: Amendment 1: Same-sex marriage ban.
No: 57%
Blanks: 1.5%
Yes: 42%
7% Reporting
Remember: The Amendment needs to pass by more than half of all ballots cast. Blanks will be added to the “no” vote for the final tally.

10:25 EST. In Rhode Island, it looks like openly gay Rep. David Cicilline has defeated Republican challenger Brendan Doherty. With 82% reporting, Cicilline is ahead 50-44%.

In Massachusetts, Richard Tisei is trailing in his question to become the first openly gay Republican congressman. Rep. John Tierney is leading 49-47% with 58% reporting.

10:15 EST: We can celebrate Tammy Baldwin’s win now. Fox News is projecting that she will be the new fabulously openly lesbian Senator from Wisconsin. History is made!

Question 1 in Maine is now tightening. With 11% reporting, it is now up 53-47%.

10:00 EST: Mitt Romney has won his home state of Utah. But he lost New Hampshire

With 7% reporting, Question 1 is passing in Maine, 55-45%.

With 23% reporting, Question 6 is passing in Maryland, 61-39%.

With only 3% reporting, Amendment 1 is trailing in Minnesota. 61-38%, with about 1.5% of the ballots blank for the proposed amendment. Blank ballots are will be counted as no votes.

9:45 EST: CNN Projects Elizabeth Warren (D) has unseated Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts, and JOe Donnelly (D) has defeated Richard Mourdock (R) in Indiana. God’s will, you know. These are both pick-ups for Dems.

9:42 EST: NBC and Fox have given Wisconsin to Obama. CNN has finally given Pennsylvania to Obama also.

9:35 EST: The Associated Press has declared Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) the winner in her Senate race against former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), making Baldwin the first openly gay Senator in U.S. history. Oops, take that back. The AP has NOT called for Baldwin.

9:20 EST: Fox called Pennsylvania for Obama. I’ll take it.

9:15 EST: Vote counts for Maryland’s Question 6 and Maine’s Question 1 are excruciatingly slow. With 3% counted in Maine, Question 1 is trailing 4,253-5,362. In Maryland, Question 6 is passing 192,860-157,767 with only 1% of the vote counted. Obviously with vote tallies this low, it’s way to early to see any trends.

9:00 EST: Polls close in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Last polls close in Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas. And with it, a whole slew of new projecitons, mostly lining up with expectations. So far, it looks like the red states are going heavily red, while the blue states are slower to come in. Right now, Romney is up 152-123.

CNN says that the Republicans will hold on to the House. Obama is getting a lot of grief for not campaigning in key House races on behalf of Democratic candidates.

8:50 EST: Alabama is red. Romney is up 82-64.

People are still in line in Florida and Virginia, even as polls have officially closed. Those who are in line will get to vote. Twitter hashtag #stayinline is now trending upward. It sure would have been nice if someone had mentioned to Florida and Virginia election officials that they were supposed to be ready for an election today.

8:30 EST: Polls just closed in Arkansas, which CNN has called for Romney. CNN has also called Tennessee as well, putting Romney ahead 73-64.

So far, only about 1% of the results are in for Maryland’s Question 6 and Maine’s Question 1, which means that there aren’t enough results to talk about yet.

8:25 EST: In the Senate races, it looks like the Angus King, the independent candidate for Maine’s Senator to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) is headed to Washington. He hasn’t said which party he will caucus with, but most observers expect that he will caucus with the Dems. Another possible pickup for the Dems might be Joe Donnelly, who is leading Richard Mourdock by 50-44% with 30% of the votes counted. Mourdock, you may recall, got in trouble during the debate when he said that when a child is born as a result of rape, it’s God’s will.

8:16 EST: Georgia now goes to Romney, bringing the EC count to 64-56 for Obama.

8:00 EST: Polls have now closed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

CNN has called a Delaware, DC, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for Obama, and Oklahoma for Romney. This puts Obama up 64-40 in the Electoral College, with Maine splitting its vote 3-1 for Obama. (Nebraska is the only other state that is not winner-take-all in the Electoral College.)

Virginia officially closed but:

Polls closed in Virginia at 7 p.m. ET, but with long lines at polling places around the state — and those in line still able to vote — the state is delaying counting votes so as not to unduly influence those still waiting in line. Smart move.

7:43 EST: CNN has now called South Carolina and West Virginia for Romney. Not much of a surprise. It’s now Romney, 33-3 in the electoral count.

Polls close in Maryland and Maine at 8:00. Hopefully we’ll start to get an early look at the marriage ballot measures in those states soon after.

7:30 EST: Polls have now closed in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. CNN’s exit poll has Obama up by 3 in Ohio and tied in North Carolina.

7:19 EST: CNN has called Kentucky for Romney, and Vermont for Obama, which means that Romney leads the electoral college count 8-3. And we’re off!

7:00 EST: Polls have closed in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. First results will probably begin within the half hour. Here are the races I’ll be watching, in addition to the presidential election and any others you think I should keep an eye out for.

Consider the comments thread for this post an open thread, which I’ll be watching for whatever tips you have. And jokes. We may need some jokes. Or videos of cute kittens. Whatever you got. You can also email them by hitting the Contact Us link on the sidebar.

Dan Evans supports Referendum 74

Timothy Kincaid

November 1st, 2012

Dan Evans is the elder statesman of the Washington Republican Party. He served eight years in the State House (1957-1965), as Governor for twelve years (1965-1977), and as US Senator for six (1983-1989). He’s a bit of a state legend.

He’s also endorsing Referendum 74

“As a Republican, I believe strongly in individual liberty and freedom,” said Dan Evans. “So, for me, approving Referendum 74, supporting our bipartisan marriage law, and giving everyone the freedom to marry the person they love, just seems right and reflects the fundamental value of fairness that we treasure here in Washington.”

Seattle Times to support Ref 74 with ads

Timothy Kincaid

October 18th, 2012

The Seattle Times has decided to prove the effectiveness of newspaper advertising by running ads themselves and documenting their impact. They will be spending about $75,000 each on two political campaigns: GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and Referendum 74 in support of marriage equality.

The decision to run the ads was made by the corporate side of The Times, and was “completely separate from the journalism functions of the newspaper,” Alan Fisco, Seattle Times executive vice president, revenue and new products, said in a news release.

Fisco described the effort as a pilot project to show the power of newspaper political advertising and to attract new revenue. He said the company will analyze the effectiveness of the ad campaigns and present the results to political consultants and campaigns to try to persuade them to advertise more in the newspaper.

Thanks, Nordstrom

Timothy Kincaid

October 11th, 2012

From Seattle Times

Upscale department store chain Nordstrom Inc. has joined a number of Pacific Northwest businesses in expressing support for gay marriage.

The Seattle-based company sent out an email Thursday morning to its 56,000 employees, saying “is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law as all other employees.”

The letter was signed by Nordstrom executives and brothers Blake, Pete and Erik Nordstrom.

New SurveyUSA poll good news for Referendum 74

Timothy Kincaid

October 6th, 2012

Per SeattlePI

The poll found Referendum 74, which would make Washington the seventh state to enact marriage equality, leading by a 55-40 percent margin with just 6 percent undecided.

I find generally that with gay marriage polls, the support for equality generally is how the vote comes out with all the undecided votes going against us. So my best guestimate is that if the vote were today (and you can vote absentee today), the results would be close to 55-45 for Referendum 74 and equality would win.

Referendum 74 draws record number of financial supporters

Timothy Kincaid

September 5th, 2012

Supporters of Referendum 74 have now raised 7.3 million dollars to help keep Washington’s marriage law inclusive. And while this is an amazing number, I’m even more impressed by a different statistic:

WUM now has 13,866 individual contributors, believed to be the largest number of donors in any Washington state ballot campaign. According to the Public Disclosure Commission’s online records dating from 2000, only 2008’s I-1000 came close, with approximately 9,500 contributors.

And those are not out-of-state voters.

The average median gift in August was $50, with 84 percent of those donations coming from Washington state. Additionally, those 5,000-plus new contributors in August constitute a 47% increase over the 8,900 individuals who had donated to the campaign by the end of July.

Our opponents like to see these contributions in terms of their worldview: a handful of very wealthy out-of-state homosexuals and their ultra-liberal friends are coming in to try and force their views on the citizens.

But when more average hard-working Washingtonians than ever before contribute $50 because they believe in the rightness of equality, something kinda phenomenal is going on. Something very cool. Something I don’t think our opponents are prepared for.

Expedia supports equality

Timothy Kincaid

September 4th, 2012

And the list keeps growing:

Washington United for Marriage, the coalition working to defend the state’s bipartisan marriage law, today announced that Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company with household brands like Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Classic Vacations and Hotwire, has endorsed the freedom to marry and the effort to approve Referendum 74 this November.

Headquartered in Bellevue, Expedia has 2,270 employees in Washington State and 8,900 worldwide. In its statement President and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote, in part:

“As the world’s largest online travel company — with operations in well over 30 countries — we know firsthand that the world is a diverse place. Much like our customers, clients, partners, and suppliers, our employees represent a multitude of locations, cultures and experiences. …

“We strive to actively promote equality in our workplace and are committed to treating one another with respect and dignity. … Today, we add our voice to the topic of marriage equality. We thoughtfully engage in this public discussion because it has significant impact on our employees, customers, and partners, all with whom we interact daily. Supporting the legislation recently passed in Washington State — which provides same-sex couples with the same right to civil marriage that opposite sex couples already enjoy — is a natural extension of our ongoing commitment to the LGBT community.”

You know, it’s an indication of just how quickly that this issue is shifting that so many companies who did not come out to support the domestic partnership bill just three years ago are now willing to announce their support for full marriage equality.

But I guess that means that the National Organization for (some people’s) Marriage will stick with the Roaming Gnome.

For now.

T-Mobile endorses marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

August 20th, 2012

Today, T-Mobile USA announced the company’s endorsement of Referendum 74 by donating to, and supporting the efforts of, Washington United for Marriage, the broad, bipartisan statewide coalition working to defend the state’s marriage law.

“T-Mobile has a long-standing focus on creating an inclusive workplace environment for our employees,” said Jim Alling, interim chief executive officer and chief operating officer. “Our support of this issue is a reflection of our culture, how we do business, and our belief in the fair and equitable treatment of all employees.”

In related news, Brian Brown just declared Godzilla has risen from the sea to stomp on the T-Mobile headquarters.

Amazon’s amazing support

Timothy Kincaid

July 27th, 2012

Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, and his wife, MacKenzie, have joined the list of prominent Washington businesses and CEO’s that have come out in support of marriage equality in that state. And all because former employee Jennifer Cast – one of the company’s first – asked.

On Sunday cast emailed Bezos asking for a contribution to the campaign in support of Referendum 74. “We need help from straight people. To be very frank, we need help from wealthy straight people who care about us and who want to help us win.” Bezos’ reply:

Jen, this is right for so many reasons. We’re in for $2.5 million. Jeff & MacKenzie.

I’m sorry. I should have given you a tissue warning.

Oddly enough, NOM’s blog site seems not to have gotten the news. They’re still talking about chicken.

Anti-Gays not collecting much cash in Washington

Timothy Kincaid

July 11th, 2012

If the anti-gay activists had a dollar for every signature they collected to put Referendum 74 on the ballot, they’d be a hundred thousand richer. Which merely proves that it’s easy to get people to sign petitions about things they care very little about.

We told you that the pro-marriage coalition raked in nearly a million bucks last month and now the numbers are official (Seattle Times)

The campaign seeking to overturn the state’s new gay marriage law raised just over $17,000 in cash in June, much less than the nearly $900,000 in cash donations raised by supporters of the law.

According to Public Disclosure Commission filings that posted Tuesday, Preserve Marriage has raised a total of $139,702 for its campaign. Washington United for Marriage has raised more than $2 million.

Nearly $M last month for marriage

Timothy Kincaid

July 9th, 2012

Seattle Times

Supporters of gay marriage in Washington state said Monday that they raised more than $952,000 last month for the campaign to uphold the state’s new law, which is currently on hold pending the outcome of a November ballot measure.

But that’s just last month

As of Monday, Washington United for Marriage said it had raised more than $2 million for the campaign to fight back attempts to overturn the law. Preserve Marriage Washington, which collected the signatures to get R-74 on the ballot, has raised more than $135,000, according to the most recent numbers with the Public Disclosure Commission, though it hasn’t yet submitted its totals for June.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Organization for Marriage, which was involved in ballot measures that overturned same-sex marriage in California and Maine, has said it will fight to strike down the law, and has loaned regional coordinator Christopher Plante to the local campaign.

“We expect to be outspent on this,” said Plante, who is now serving as deputy campaign manager for Preserve Marriage.

Ya think?

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