Last night, the Senate in state of Washington passed a same-sex marriage equality bill. There were hours of debate, much of it very impressive, but two lawmakers stood out as delivering amazingly impassioned speeches, guaranteed to make you cry.
Meet Washington Democratic Senators Debbie Regala and Kevin Ranker.
Regala, who married “almost 44 years ago.” She said, “that was one year after the ban on interracial marriage was struck down by the Supreme Court.” Regala, her voice trembling, said she was very glad the definition of marriage changed.
Senator Kevin Ranker told the gallery that he is the son of a gay man, and when his father came out his family “refused to accept it.” Saying domestic partnership can never be marriage, Ranker reminded the audience that “separate can never be equal,” and talked about how challenging, growing up, the discrimination he faced because of it was.
Senators Brown, Chase, Conway, Eide, Fain, Fraser, Frockt, Harper, Hatfield, Haugen, Hill, Hobbs, Kastama, Keiser, Kilmer, Kline, Kohl-Welles, Litzow, McAuliffe, Murray, Nelson, Pflug, Prentice, Pridemore, Ranker, Regala, Rolfes, and Tom.
Republicans Phlug, Litzow, Hill, and Fain – they deserve a special thank you!
Stuart Wilber believes that living life openly as a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or
Allied person is the most powerful kind of activism. Shortly after meeting his partner in Chicago in 1977, he opened a gallery named In a Plain Brown Wrapper, where he exhibited cutting edge work by leading artists; art that dealt with sexuality and gender identification. In the late 1980’s when they moved to San Clemente, CA in Orange County, life as an openly gay couple became a political act. They moved to Seattle 16 years ago and married in Canada a few weeks after British Columbia legalized same-sex marriage. Although legally married in some countries, they are only considered domestic partners in Washington State. Equality continues to elude him.
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