Margaret Witt and Laurie Johnson
 

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posted Friday, December 7, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 49

Margaret Witt and Laurie Johnson
When, where, and how did you first meet?
In 2001 at Spokane Schools. 'I first met Margie when she was riding a giant red special-needs trike down the hallway of our workplace,' says Laurie. 'She was racing with my boss, Nancy. I wondered, who was that?!'

What is your secret? Why does this relationship work?
We keep everything in perspective and don't take ourselves too seriously. We laugh at ourselves and each other. We think we're hysterically funny.

Any advice for young couples?
Keep your eyes on your own paper. Surround yourself with good people who value what you do. Don't be afraid to let them in. Laurie's motto has always been, 'I don't know how, but everything is going to be OK.' Margie's is, 'We can get there from here.'

Did you ever think that marriage equality would be a reality in your lifetime?
Not until DADT was gone. Then we felt anything was possible.

How did you feel when you realized the freedom to marry had come to Washington?
Like we had just conquered the mountain, yet again. We were proud to be Washingtonians and thankful for the amazing work that was done through Washington United for Marriage!

Tell our readers something interesting about the two of you.
'Margie hates to get up in the morning,' says Laurie. 'She's like a rag doll. I bring her coffee and keep it just out of reach so she'll have to move to reach it. She brings me coffee on the weekends.'

We have three wiener dogs. The youngest, Bumper, thinks Margie birthed him. Laurie is always trying to give Piggy, the middle child, away as a door prize. Divot, aka The Troll, is the oldest, and loves Laurie best.

Do opposites attract? Is there a 'top for every pot'?
We are very different, but not opposite. We are amazed everyday at all we have in common. Yes, opposites can attract, and if the commonalities are love and respect, that can be the solid foundation where you both begin.

So far, what is your happiest memory together?
We have had so many amazing moments, we actually cannot pick one. Perhaps after the Rachel Maddow interview, it was immediately after winning my two-week trial [Margaret sued to rejoin the U.S. Air Force], we shared the silence and sunset together on our way back to my parents' home in Gig Harbor. Once you experience the really bad, you learn to recognize all the very small things that are good. We make sure to see good when it happens. We are grateful and celebrate each day.

What is the greatest challenge you've had to overcome as a couple?
Surviving the intrusive nature of a very public investigation and trial. It wasn't such a challenge to our relationship as it was a challenge to get through each day with support from each other and our friends.

Why does marriage matter to you?
It is a validation of the deepest love and commitment one can have to another. The definition is universal. It makes us all human.

Anything you would like to add?
Our mission is not over. Military families and spouses still aren't recognized, not even as next of kin. The military prides itself on its family support systems and yet they are neglecting a valuable part of their family. It's wonderful to serve openly, but we are more than Gay or Lesbian service members. We are service members like all others who have families, partners, spouses, and children.



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