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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 18, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 3
An unforgettable day at City Hall
Section One
ALL STORIES
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An unforgettable day at City Hall

by Bruce Harrell - Seattle City Council

The passage of Referendum 74 will be remembered as a remarkable turning point in our State's history - the hard work of fighting for love and equality finally realized. I could not have been prouder of our voters for supporting all of Washington's families and recognizing the beauty in the joining of two lives together in marriage.

On December 9, 2012, the promise of marriage equality was fulfilled at City Hall. One hundred thirty-eight new beginnings witnessed, and the hopes and dreams of committed couples in Seattle brought to fruition. Often times, people think of City Hall as a place of conflict - a place people go to lobby positions and advocate outcomes - but December 9 was a day of pure celebration. It reminded me of the real purpose of our City Hall: to bring people together.

The day began early, but with smiles everywhere. Dozens of volunteers and hundreds of supporters gathered to make this long-awaited day special for the many couples who had to wait much too long to be legally recognized in their tireless commitments to each other - couples of five, 18, and 34-plus years together. It was both inspiring and humbling to see so many happy couples in love.

SUPPORTIVE ATMOSPHERE
I know marriage equality had (and still has) its opponents, but I don't know how opponents could deny their friends and neighbors the opportunity to share in the happiness and commitment of marriage when they could see for themselves the impact of a day like the 9th. The argument that marriage equality weakens 'traditional' marriage couldn't be further from the truth. My wife and I felt stronger in our bond, being surrounded by other couples celebrating the strength of theirs. It was an atmosphere that was both supportive and empowering for all loving families.

The wedding celebrations at City Hall reminded me of our commitment to one another as residents of Seattle. We celebrate our joys and triumphs together, and injustice to one is injustice to all. There was an overwhelming sense of joy and optimism in City Hall that we don't see every day, but which we must work to see more often. Our future as a city is brighter when we celebrate love.

December 9, 2012, was a beautiful day my wife and I will never forget.

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