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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 18, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 3
Lee Arthurs and Jake King make it official
Section One
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Lee Arthurs and Jake King make it official

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Among the couples who braved cold temperatures awaiting the first batch of marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples were Lee Arthurs and Jake King. Originally from the Midwest - Arthurs is from Wisconsin, King from Illinois - a change of scenery and pace brought them to Seattle, but fate and true love brought them together.

A MUSICAL MATCH
Music played a role in the couple's initial encounter. 'We met randomly while out with friends,' says Arthurs, who works in real estate. 'Jake was playing songs on the jukebox which fit my musical tastes to a 'T' and I kept thinking to myself I had to meet him. But because I generally find it hard to approach people, I did the phone number hand-off with a quick 'Hello' and went home. To my surprise, he called later in the week, and the rest is history.'

As the relationship developed between Arthurs and King, an employee of Rudy's Barbershop, it became apparent that they were a perfect match. 'We found we had more in common than not, and we discovered that our values were very much in line in terms of marriage and family and we wanted that for ourselves, despite what society said,' states Arthurs.

When the couple decided to seal their commitment, they wanted it to matter. 'It was important, though, that it be legally recognized,' declares Arthurs. 'Initially we had planned a ceremony that for various reasons never panned out, but once legislation started moving forward, we found ourselves in a position of discussing moving ahead with our initial plans. When we learned of the opportunity at [Seattle] First Baptist Church [which hosted a free group wedding ceremony last month], we jumped on the chance to be a part of it because, though neither of us are very religious, it offered us something close to how we were raised and what we expected a wedding should feel like. It was quite an honor to be a part of that experience.'

FAITH IN THE VOTERS
While some couples nervously kept their eyes on election polls and early voting results for official passage of marriage equality, Arthurs and King were confident it would sail to victory. 'We had strong faith in the voters of the state of Washington,' says Arthurs. 'You could sense that, especially in King County among our many friends and co-workers, that there was an apparent change in the air. We felt confident that the tide was turning. Even those that we know who are Republican felt, that in terms of Gay marriage, it was a human rights issue versus a political or religious one.'

Gay marriage was never an issue for either of the newlyweds' families, who knew of Arthurs' and King's sexual orientation for a long time. 'I think it helps that we've each been 'out' to our families from a very early age, so by now the whole 'being Gay' thing is truly a moot point and is no longer a definition of who we are,' explains Arthurs. 'We are their sons, not their Gay sons. For us, marriage is just a natural progression of a relationship and we are extremely fortunate to be supported by our families who believe in this right.'

'GAMUT OF EMOTIONS'
As any couple there can attest, waiting in line for the first same-sex marriage licenses to be issued was as exciting as it was historical. Arthurs recalls that experience with a laugh, 'Honestly? Exhausting! We ran the gamut of emotions that night. Ultimately we were simply excited to be taking part in such a historic moment and no matter how long the wait seemed or how tired we were, by the time we got our license we kept reminding each other of how long it took our community to get to this point and just how thankful we were. All night we met such amazing people who shared their own journeys with us and found commonality with their hopes and dreams, and at the root of it all was love. Love. How beautifully simple. It was very moving.'

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