Joe Mirabella

The Time to Push for Marriage Equality in Washington State is Now

Filed By Joe Mirabella | July 08, 2011 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Equal Rights Washington, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Washington, Washington State

This is the time to push, and push hard for marriage equality in Washington State. We need everyone Thumbnail image for seattle.jpgon board right now if we are going to achieve marriage as early as 2012 for gays and lesbians.

Equal Rights Washington took a firm step towards securing marriage for gays and lesbians. The Equal Rights Washington Board of Directors, of which I am a member, voted last month to commit significant resources towards winning marriage.

Josh Friedes stepped down as the executive director of Equal Rights Washington to become the full time marriage director. Rod Hearn stepped off the board, and has replaced Josh Friedes as executive director.

"Nationally, and especially in Washington, there is growing momentum to achieve marriage equality. The issue is so huge we wanted Josh to be able to focus full-time on building the movement for marriage equality in Washington," said Hearne.

"Being an executive director is the most important job in any organization," Friedes said, "but at this critical moment in our movement for marriage equality, I really wanted to be back in the trenches working with leaders of diverse communities and organizations to develop a marriage equality majority in the electorate and the Legislature. I'm thrilled that the board is allowing me to do the work I love and that Rod Hearne, one of the most talented leaders in the community, has agreed to step into the role of executive director."

Smart politicians are well aware of the change in public opinion and are fully embracing a future where gays and lesbians can marry in Washington State. Jay Inslee announced his support for marriage equality at the same time he announced his candidacy for governor.

New York's Governor Cuomo's was vital to the history made in New York last month when the legislature approved full marriage rights for gays and lesbians. Now that New York is a marriage equality state, competition for the best work force has increased. While Washington used to be a leader in equal rights for gays and lesbians with the domestic partnership law, Washington is now behind other states, like Massachusetts and Iowa that have had marriage for years.

The far right has lost all credibility on marriage equality. All the horribles they preached would happen to society when gays and lesbians were allowed to marry have failed to manifest. In fact, society is stronger with marriage for gays and lesbians, because families and children are more secure than ever before.

Fair minded people can see this for themselves. Just look to our north. Our friends in Canada have been able to marry throughout the country for years. Canada's economy is actually stronger than the United States' economy.

Religious organizations are changing their perspective as well. Churches are learning that civil marriage does not impact their religious freedom. Many religious organizations have completely embraced marriage and are performing ceremonies in their places of worship.

For Washington to become a marriage equality state, gays, lesbians, and their allies, must all increase their effort. It is time now, to pay our elected officials a visit. While they are home form Olympia, schedule appointments to let them know you want marriage.

Talk to your places of worship, your co-workers, and engage your friends in this important work. Equal Rights Washington's internal and external polls are looking very good. We could achieve marriage in 2012 if everyone steps forward right now to pitch in.

Freedom is never free. It will cost millions to achieve marriage equality. Not only do we need you to act now by talking to your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers about marriage, but we also need you to commit to contributing financially. Every little bit helps.

The time is now. If we lose this opportunity, our next shot may not be until 2014 or later. Do not wait. Do not just hit the Facebook share button and think you are done (though I would appreciate it if you would hit that button). Let's get to work team.

Equality is ours if we want it.

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The ERW link at the top of the article is bad. Missing .com

Brian Murphy | July 8, 2011 5:52 PM

I'm glad to see that Washington is going to seize this moment to focus on securing civil marriage equality.

Senator Ed Murray has often spoken quite eloquently about the importance of building effective community outreach and engagement *outside of King County* if we're ever to realize equal civil marriage in our state. To date, no organization has signed up to do that necessary work. Does this decision mean ERW is committing to build the kind of broad outreach operation that Senator Murray has outlined so often?

We've observed in other states how crucial is has been to engage the business community in support of marriage equality. Will there be a program to engage large and small employers in support of our equality and their own competitive advantage?

There is momentum for marriage right now and I look forward to hearing in detail about the programs and activities that my potential donations might be used to fund.