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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 44
Arts & Entertainment
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Letters

VOTING IS NOT ENOUGH
As you know, Referendum 74 will be on the ballot this November. R-74 asks whether you approve enacting the marriage equality bill that state legislators - Republicans and Democrats - passed earlier this year. I know that most of you intend to vote to Approve R-74, but I am asking you to do a bit more before the election.

I will admit that it is hard, knowing that others get to vote on whether I have the right to marry the person I love. It is frustrating and stressful. So I'm choosing to use this as an opportunity to talk with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues about why marriage equality is important. We know that people's views on marriage equality evolve through personal conversations with or about those for whom this law has a personal impact.

In my experience, most Washington voters do not believe that Lesbians and Gays should be denied equal rights. However, they are not aware that the current law that allows same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships isn't sufficient. There are literally hundreds of rights, like inheritance rights and tax benefits, that are provided to married couples that are not provided to couples who are domestic partners. I firmly believe that all of us, regardless of whom we love, should be entitled to the same rights in this country. I hope you agree.

A misconception is that the new law would require churches to marry same-sex couples. Lawmakers made certain to ensure that the law does not impinge on any church's religious freedom. No church or religious institution would be required to marry any couple. This is about civil marriage, not religious marriage.

But in many ways, allowing couples to marry says something much more important. In our society, marriage is how we understand that people are committed - that they are a family, that they will be there and take care of each other throughout their lives. Remember back to when you married your spouse. You were likely overjoyed and wanted to tell your friends, family, and community that this is the person you love and want to spend your life with. You did that by getting married. People understood the importance and strength of your relationship just because you chose to marry. It said something universally understood by others.

All of us, regardless of whom we love, want our relationship understood and acknowledged in that same way. I want my friends, family, and community to know that my love and commitment to Marc is just as strong as yours is to your spouse.

Again, thank you for your support for marriage equality. Please remember to vote to Approve Referendum 74. But, given the profound impact that this election will have on my life, I am asking you to take the next three weeks to do more. Talk to others about marriage equality. Feel free to use my story as a way to initiate those conversations, if you want. Together, we can ensure equal rights for all in Washington.

Matthew Haggerty



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Dear SGN,
Thank you so much for posting our ad. It looks great.

Kathy Morefield
Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington

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