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R-74 a vote for equality
Last week, the Bellevue Reporter came out in support of Referendum 74, a ballot measure regarding the legalization of marriage for same sex couples in Washington state. For me, it was a simple decision. I voted to approve Referendum 74, and I couldn't be more proud than to work for a paper that felt the same way.
On Tuesday, the state of Washington - and three other states - came to the same conclusion:
“Washington voters sent a resounding message that nothing less than marriage is full equality for gay and lesbian couples. This victory rounds out a landslide sweep of all four marriage ballot measures this November."
Now I know this was a touchy issue for many – as I've seen the "Reject 74" protestors on my way to work every morning for the past month. And I understand some people feel that being gay is "wrong." But that's a whole other issue.
For me, this is equal rights we are talking about. In my opinion, everyone has the right to pursue their own happiness – in whatever form that may take.
Some argue the word "marriage" is defined as a relationship between a man and a woman, and as such, you can't redefine it. I say, why not? Things change, societies evolve, and the right to marry – along with the privileges it grants – should be applicable to all.
Another argument I've been hearing get thrown around is that "everything but marriage" is enough. It's not.
By saying that gay people can everything BUT - you're implying that they are not worthy. You are saying they are not equal. You are saying they are second class citizens. THAT, my friends, is not OK.
If you were one of the people who decided to vote to reject this measure, I respect your right to make your own decision. However, I fail to see how someone else's personal relationship is any of your business. If you don't like gay marriage, then don't get gay married.
On Tuesday Washington stood up for what is right: acceptance, equality and love. And that is something to celebrate.
Keegan Prosser is a staff writer with the Issaquah & Sammamish Reporter. She can be contacted at 425-453-4602 or firstname.lastname@example.org.