'Love has prevailed'
 

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posted Friday, December 28, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 52

'Love has prevailed'
The day marriage equality became real

by Sally Bagshaw - Seattle City Council

Sunday, December 9, 2012, was an emotionally charged day for me.

Inside, City Hall was decked with flowers, platforms were raised for individual ceremonies, and beautifully crafted backdrops hung from the ceiling, converting the building into an almost-elegant wedding venue. Couples and their entourages blew in from the east side, surrounded by their family and supporters. Some confessed to being a little nervous, while some had waited for decades and could hardly wait another minute.

Here's a little background: I worked hard in support of R-74 because I believe to my bones that all adults should have the right to marry the person they love. Since the Andersen case in 2004, where many new friends were plaintiffs in that lawsuit demanding the right to marry, I have been deeply invested. When R-74 was on the ballot this year, it was personal and I wanted to help. I walked the 43rd District encouraging voters to vote yes on R-74; I talked with literally hundreds of people encouraging them to vote; I helped people register. So, standing shoulder to shoulder with my friends at the Westin on Tuesday, November 6 - many of whom had waited years for the right to marry - was exhilarating. We hugged, we cried, we smiled until our faces hurt. We won.

Then one month later - Heaven! Being part of the scene on December 9 was an earth-moving event. I shook hands and hugged the line of joyful people who came to City Hall; everyone knew they were making history. Everyone wanted to take part. Three women had made boutonnieres for couples waiting to enter the building - they had come up from San Francisco and wanted everyone to feel special and loved. Parents, brothers and sisters, flower-girl nieces, ring-bearer nephews, and supportive friends lined the sidewalk, many jumping with enthusiasm around the happy couples. Even on the cold blustery day there was nothing but warmth and joy!

That day, I watched from the second floor as couples smiled into each other's eyes, committing themselves to each other's well-being and honor. Their guests and witnesses cheered as they said 'I DO.' I choked up as I saw the happy couples embrace. Then they were showered with cheers as they walked down the west stairs where hundreds more of their supporters waited outside to welcome them as married couples. The crowd was electric and inspired.

We've all won in this state. Congratulations, Washington. Love has prevailed.



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