WASHINGTON: Dan Savage & Terry Miller Among The First Gay Couples To Receive Marriage Licenses
Shortly after midnight last night, Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller were among the first Washington state couples to receive to their marriage licenses. Savage and Miller first married in Canada in 2005.
Hundreds of couples lined up in downtown Seattle Wednesday night for the state’s first batch of same-sex marriage licenses, in a historic, jubilant event that began at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and was expected to last for hours.They formed an eager, festive crowd, with couples young and old braving a night-time chill and wee-hours wait for the chance to make history at the normally dull King County Administration building. Supporters cheered for them with roses, coffee, hand-warmers and serenades of “Going to the Chapel.”
WASHINGTON: Bill & Melinda Gates Give $500K To Support Marriage Equality (R-74)
Komo News reports:
Bill and Melinda Gates have donated $500,000 to the campaign to uphold the state’s gay marriage law.
The donation was announced Tuesday by Washington United for Marriage, which is working to approve Referendum 74. The donation was made on Oct. 15, but didn’t publicly post online with the Public Disclosure Commission until Tuesday. Referendum 74 asks voters to either approve or reject the law allowing same-sex marriage that was passed by the Legislature earlier this year.
Bill Gates had made a $100,000 contribution to the campaign earlier this year.
About $11 million has been spent on the campaign so far, with a bulk of it spent by gay marriage supporters. Washington United for Marriage has far outraised its opponents, bringing in nearly $11 million compared to the more than $2 million raised so far by Preserve Marriage Washington, which opposes the law.
A poll released last week showed that 56.3 percent of registered voters back gay marriage in the state, compared to 35.6 percent who oppose it, with 6.1 percent undecided.
Among likely voters, support decreased to 54.1 percent, with 38.4 percent saying they would vote against the measure, and 5.7 percent undecided.
The poll, conducted by the University of Washington, also included a third prediction, based on whether people answered honestly. Matt Barreto, director of the poll, said that because sometime people answering poll questions feel social pressure to answer a certain way, results can be skewed. In this poll, they weighted the poll based on how they answered two additional questions: if they lied on the survey and if any topics made them uncomfortable. That third prediction reduced those supporting the referendum down to 52.9 percent, and those opposing 46.6 percent.
Barreto noted that in 2009, when voters were deciding on a referendum on the state’s so-called “everything but marriage” expansion of the domestic partnership law, his polling showed the measure was up by 17 points, but it ultimately only won by just over 6 percentage points.
WASHINGTON: State Tells Catholic Church Anti-Gay Marriage Collection Is Illegal
Election officials in Washington state have told the local Catholic Church that their plan to take up a collection against gay marriage during mass would be a violation of campaign finance laws.
Lori Anderson, a spokeswoman for the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, told LGBTQ Nation on Wednesday that the request is illegal under the terms of Initiative 134, which Washington voters passed ten years ago to regulate political contributions and campaign spending. Anderson noted that state law specifically states that no organization, including churches, may act as an intermediary for contributions. She said that churches are allowed hand out envelopes, but that either a member of Preserve Marriage Washington has to be on hand to collect them or parishioners must send them in individually. Anderson said that the church has been notified by the commission.
WASHINGTON: T-Mobile To Contribute $25,000 To Washington United For Marriage
Bellevue Patch reports:
Bellevue-based T-Mobile USAwill support Washington’s Referendum 74, the company announced Monday. The referendum, which would affirm the legislatively backed law that legalizes same-sex marriage,will be on the ballot in November. The company will contribute $25,000 to Washington United for Marriage, the group campaigning to pass the referendum, according to company officials. —————————- T-Mobile’s announcements puts it with a number of local companies voicing support for same-sex marriage equality. What do you think about these companies weighing in? Tell us in the comments. —————————- Other local companies and executives also have announced support for the law and have donated to Washington United for Marriage, includingMicrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Microsoft alsoaffirmed its support of the same sex marriage law in January, before it was approved by the legislature. “T-Mobile has a long-standing focus on creating an inclusive workplace environment for our employees,” said Jim Alling, T-Mobile’s interim chief executive officer and chief operating officer said in a prepared statement. “Our support of this issue is a reflection of our culture, how we do business, and our belief in the fair and equitable treatment of all employees.” T-Mobile’s news release also included prepared statements byWashington United for Marriage. “We are very excited that T-Mobile has decided to take this important step in endorsing our effort to approve Referendum 74,” said WUM Campaign Manager Zach Silk. “As one of the top employers in the Puget Sound area, T-Mobile’s support demonstrates a commitment to employees, customers, and communities in Washington state.” T-Mobile USA’s corporate headquarters are in the Eastgate area of Bellevue. More than 4,800 T-Mobile employees live and work in Washington, according to the company.
Human Rights Campaign Donates $1M To Fight Marriage Referenda In Four States
The Human Rights Campaign is directing $1 million in cash to four states with gay marriage ballot initiatives this November, a new chunk of funding for efforts to make history with a statewide win among voters on an issue that polls show public opinion shifting. The HRC funds, which are being unveiled Monday, are $250,000 apiece for Maine, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota, all of which have ballot measures in November on gay marriage. Officials said there will be more spending coming, and that it makes the total spent by HRC in 2011 and 2012 on marriage-related efforts to $4.8 million. “These ballot measures are the critical issues in November for our community, besides reelecting the president” and a small handful of specific races, said HRC’s Michael Cole-Schwartz. “And part of why they’re a big deal is because our opponents have rightfully had the talking points that all of these states have banned marriage for same-sex couples [in the past].” Those battles also took place, he noted, before the shift in public opinion that polls have showed in the last two years. A Pew survey released last week still showed a majority of Republicans against gay marriage, but 51 percent of independents support it, and 48 percent of voters overall, while 44 percent oppose it. “This is the year where we really think that we have the opportunity to be the victors,” he added, saying, “We want to stand up and be leaders…and spur more investments in these campaigns as well.” The fights in the four states will be taking place against the backdrop of Supreme Court challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act — a law that presents complications to state-based laws. There will also be the challenge to California’s Proposition 8. Among the biggest donations to the state marriage fights so far has been a $2.5 million pledge from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to the Washington effort. And a group of prominent hedge fund executives, among them Elliott Associates’ Paul Singer, are involved in donating major sums to the state-based fights, as he and others did in New York last year. ‘The issue of gay marriage has not been central to the 2012 presidential race, which has been largely defined by the economy, but it remains a heated issue with certain constituencies, and has been a persistent issue. Still, with social conservatives organizing more forcefully to turn out evangelical and faith-based voters, as The Huffington Post reported over the weekend, it’s a reminder that it’s an issue that could still turn out voters on the Republican side as well. Romney, who was not the choice of social conservatives in the primary, continues to woo support among evangelicals and social conservatives in the party’s base, well after the intraparty fight has ended. Conservatives have a number of concerns about President Obama, chief among them Obamacare and other policy issues, but one of them was the president’s open support for gay marriage. The Huffington Post reported that Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition will spend $10 million to energize the base and defeat the president. None of the states where the marriage fight is playing out is a battleground (Minnesota, if Tim Pawlenty is on the ballot on the other side, is the exception). But the issue, injected into the national discussion prominently by Vice President Joe Biden and Obama, is not on the sidelines this cycle.
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