Topic: same-sex marriage
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December 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM
King County officials are preparing for hundreds of same-sex couples to descend on their downtown Seattle administration building to get marriage licenses as soon as same-sex marriage becomes legal at 12:01 a.m.
The line will start forming outside the building, at 500 4th Ave., sometime before 10 p.m., when officials say they will start handing out numbered tickets to couples.
“We really expect it to be a festive atmosphere,” said Cameron Satterfield, a county spokesman. “This is marriage. It’s one of the few happy things that we get to do in government.”
More than 80 members of the media have requested credentials to cover the event, including national outlets like MSNBC.
County Executive Dow Constantine has pledged to sign the marriage licenses for the first couples, who were selected by the LGBT community. Then the rest will trickle in 10 at a time to do the roughly 10 minute licensing process.
The county Recorder’s Office will be opened for extended hours, from midnight until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. It will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Couples are asked to complete the form ahead of time and also bring a photo ID and $64 in cash or check.
Couples are required to wait three days after obtaining a license to actually get married. More than 140 of them have signed up to get married during a special event for same-sex couples Sunday at City Hall.
How are you celebrating the legalization of gay marriage? Share your wedding or engagement photographs and stories (from this weekend or whenever your ceremony occurred) to this special Seattle Times project.
November 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Cupcake Royale, the Capitol Hill bakeshop that raised more than $7,000 to help get Referendum 74 passed, is offering a free slice of what it’s calling “the World’s Biggest Rainbow Cake in the shape of Washington State” at 3 p.m. today.
Same-sex marriage was approved in Washington state this week, something owner Jody Hall said “is truly a cause for celebration.”
November 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM
Washington United for Marriage, the campaign seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in our state, has crunched the numbers and is declaring victory in Tuesday night’s election for Referendum 74.
With hundreds of thousands of ballots still to be counted, the measure is currently ahead 52 to 48.
Meanwhile, the opposing campaign, Preserve Marriage Washington, is urging caution. The Seattle Times has yet to call this race.
November 6, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Only about a half-dozen people are left at the Election Night party for Reject R-74, the same-sex marriage measure. The mood had steadily grown quieter and more subdued as the night wore on, and it became apparent that the reject side was not going to take the lead for the night.
The signs and banners have been taken down and the food put away.
“I’m a little bit surprised” by the vote, said Judy Fenton of Seattle, who had volunteered for the Reject R-74 campaign, making phone calls, waving signs and distributing literature. “I guess I was hoping that people would think more independently of the commercials they’ve seen (in support of same-sex marriage), because there’ve been a lot.
“I do feel like it’s going to be a monumental shift in our culture,” Fenton added.
Chris Plante, deputy campaign manager for the Reject R-74 campaign, said, “We’re not conceding anything.” But Plante acknowledged that “realistically, something’s going to have to change in our favor. … We’ll have to see how things go.”
November 6, 2012 at 7:56 PM
It’s quiet so far at the Reject Referendum 74 election-night party, being held at campaign headquarters in the Newberry Square strip mall in Lynnwood.
A few volunteers have trickled in, gathering around the veggie and fruit trays, cupcakes and a Crock Pot full of meatballs. A few others are a few doors down at the Vienna Coffee Company coffee shop — the second site of the Reject R-74 party, where campaign workers have also put up a tent in the front in case of spillover.
So far, though, not many are here because many volunteers were out sign waving earlier this evening and many are still doing phone banking and distributing door hangers, said DiAnna Brannan, director of grassroots for Preserve Marriage Washington.
The campaign has at least 20,000 volunteers statewide, said campaign spokesman Chip White, who added with a laugh: ”I hope we get a lot more votes than actual people here in our office tonight.”
White is predicting a “razor thin fight to the finish” for R-74.
“This summer, we were as much as 19 points down,” he said. “But with the launch of our TV ad campaign in October and our ground game more recently, we see momentum as being on our side. And we think we’ve really closed the gap.”
November 6, 2012 at 7:17 PM
Very early election results show voters approving same-sex marriage in Maine and Maryland and rejecting a constitutional ban against it in Minnesota.
The states were among four with same-sex ballot measures. Results on Washington’s Referendum 74 are not yet available.
November 5, 2012 at 12:48 PM
More than 40 members of the Washington State Bar Association have signed a letter asking the organization’s board of governors to publicly revoke its endorsement of Referendum 74, the statewide same-sex marriage ballot measure, saying such support violates the organization’s bylaws.
In an Oct. 17 letter, the 42 attorneys also demanded the organization refund or allow future deduction of the portion of their dues attributable to activities in support of Ref. 74. Many state attorneys, it said, “oppose same-sex marriage and therefore disagree with, dissent from and object to” the board’s position on Ref. 74.
Bellevue attorney Chris Evans, who wrote the letter on behalf of the others, called the board’s endorsement “mission creep.”
In September, the board passed a resolution supporting Ref. 74, and in a subsequent letter to its more than 29,000 members explained the decision was based on several principles, including the understanding that equal access to the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage is a matter of justice.
Debra Carnes, spokeswoman for the bar association, said the organization has received several emails from attorneys who object to or support the bar’s position. She said there’s a process for members to file a petition if they want to affect any policy enacted by the board.
The attorneys who signed the letter cited the 1990 case of Keller v State Bar of California, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that attorneys who are required to be members of a state bar association have a First Amendment right to refrain from subsidizing the organization’s political or ideological activities.
Under Keller, they say, the bar is not allowed to engage in activities that are “of a political or ideological nature that are not necessarily or reasonably related to regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of legal services to the public.” Ref. 74, they argue, falls within that category.
In a letter responding to the members, the board’s president said the organization has consistently found that issues like Ref. 74 do affect the practice of law and the administration of justice. It said Keller does not prohibit the bar from taking positions on any issue, but rather forbids it from using mandatory member fees to support such positions. It offered the attorneys the option of deducting from their dues an amount ranging from 98 cents to $6.40.
October 11, 2012 at 4:54 PM
A group of 63 former Roman Catholic priests spoke out Thursday in support of Referendum 74, the November ballot measure that will ask voters to approve or reject Washington’s same-sex marriage law.
The former priests, some with as many of 43 years of service and all now married, are all members of local parishes.
Pat Callahan, a member of the group, said that for the last 27 years members have been a source of fellowship and support for each other. This is the first time the group has taken a public stance on an issue this important to the church. All but a handful of the group’s 120 or so members agreed to take this stance.
Catholic bishops in Washington state have been active in their opposition to gay marriage, encouraging in-pew donations in many of its parishes.
“A number of us became concerned by the way the church hierarchy is getting so massively involved in what we feel is a civil matter and politicizing the whole thing,” Callahan said.
They wanted to take this position, he said, to “give witness to the good Catholics who are getting so barraged with this message from the bishops that we feel they are hungry for some voice of some authority and relevance.”
In nationwide polls, nearly 60 percent of lay Catholics say they support same-sex marriage, a departure from the church’s core teaching and the positions taken by their bishops.
“We respect the right of the bishops to make policy within the church, but we feel that they are overplaying their hand,” Callahan said.
June 28, 2012 at 8:53 AM
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Adam Smith of Tacoma is proposing that the Pentagon change the definition of spouse to include same-sex couples, thereby allowing legally married gays and lesbians to collect military benefits.
Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, on Thursday introduced a bill to essentially exempt the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration from the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as between a woman and a man.
Smith’s Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act would rewrite a section of the U.S. Code to recognize husbands and wives of service members “without regard to whether the two persons are of the opposite sex or of the same sex.”
The Pentagon has already dropped its ban on openly gay service members. But the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule by itself doesn’t entitle same-sex couples in the armed forces to the same benefits as opposite-sex couples, which Smith says is discriminatory.
Meanwhile, congressional Democrats — including every Democrat from Washington state — are trying to overturn DOMA. If that legislation were to pass, it would supersede Smith’s bill.
Same-sex couples already can be legally married in six states and in the District of Columbia. In addition, Washington and Maryland legalized same-sex marriages earlier this year. A referendum on the fall ballot in Washington could overturn the new gay-marriage law.
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