"Did you think this day would ever come?" Anne Levinson asked as she discovered her old friend George Bakan, publisher of Seattle Gay News, sitting atop a fold-out table at Washington United for Marriage's victory press conference. "No, I never did," Bakan replied. The two then hugged the hug of long-time soldiers who'd just won their war.
Levinson is a former Deputy Mayor of Seattle and municipal court judge -- and openly gay. "For people who think their vote doesn't matter, there has been no other profound night in my lifetime that better demonstrates how one person's vote can affect another person's life," Levinson said.She was speaking, of course, of the passage of Referendum 74 which legalizes same-sex marriage.
Following a short speech by state Sen. Ed Murray in which he announced his plans to marry his partner of 21 years, state Rep. Jamie Pedersen climbed onto the rickety, thrown-together soapbox. He quoted his son, who's asked frequently since the arduous campaign to pass Referendum 74 began, "Papa, are you and dad getting married today?" "One day soon," said Pedersen to the crowd, "We'll be able to say yes." December 9th is slated as the earliest possible date for same-sex couples to cement their vows.
State Rep. Laurie Jinkins then took the stage. Summing up the mood of the crowd, Jinkins harkened back to her experience as a politician. "I've felt the heartbreak in both wins and losses, but I can't find any heartbreak in this." Jinkins turned to her partner and son who stood just off to her side and smiled.
The beginning of the press conference best summed up its entirety. Lacey All, of the Human Rights Campaign, was the first speaker to take the stage. "We did it," she exclaimed.
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