Yesterday I was so happy, it was almost criminal. Absolutely nothing could get me down. Obama had been reelected and Referendum 74 officially passed. I have always been a cynic (which leads to apathy) and it seemed politics was finally doing some good. Almost half of the people who voted in Washington still think I don’t deserve to marry the one I love but who cares? It’s a much smaller percentage it was four years ago. Life is grand.
On election night, we had a party, which helped to ease my nerves. Our friend Mike came up with an amazing game where we put all 50 states (and Washington, DC) in a hat and then draw one. If the state went for Romney, you had to take a shot. If the state went for Obama, you got to give a shot. As the results started rolling in, the shots started rolling out.
In true election party fashion, we also created out own map. The map, seen here, has a lot of personality. You can see that we are big Friday Night Lights fans and that Referendum 74 was always on our minds. Obama winning was only one piece of our perfect night.
As soon as Mitt Romney gave his concession speech, the room was chaos. We had one. All of those god damn five-a-day Obama e-mails had been worth it. We did it!
We then took to the streets of Capitol Hill where there was a dance party in the middle of Pike. Champagne was popped and chants of “O-bam-a” rang through the crowds. Dancing to “Since U Been Gone” with some of my best friends in the whole wide world was one of the most memorable moments of my young adult life.
Referendum 74 wasn’t officially announced until the next day. I’ll admit that I was nervous but everything turned out okay. Roughly 51% of Washingtonians voted for love and that’s just enough!
If you are curious as to why we might be so happy Obama won, I encourage you to wander over to my friend Braxton’s blog and let him tell you. As for R74 winning, below is an adjusted post I wrote last January. Enjoy.
How Referendum 74 Passing will Change your Life
Unless you’re gay, it won’t. Hands down, without a doubt, your life won’t change at all. Doomsday won’t happen. Lesbians and gay men won’t “convert” your children. Absolutely, positively, nothing will happen to you or your life because of Referendum 74 passing yesterday.
But let me tell you what it means to me:
It means that I have a chance to stand up in front of my friends and family and pronounce my love and devotion to someone and not have anyone look on that as a “wedding” (in sarcastic demeaning quotations). What Referendum 74 does is proclaim loudly that I cannot be openly discriminated against because of who I love.
It comes down to two simple ideas of equality and the separation or church and state. You may believe I’m an abomination – that’s not the first time I’ve heard that. You, your church, and your religion have that right and may continue to deny me marriage. You may believe whatever you want and you may deny me whatever you want – within your church. It is commonly held belief in the United States of America that your church and your state must remain separate. Although founded by religious men, they had the foresight to recognize they were escaping religious persecution in England and wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through the same thing here in America.
So when a matter of equality comes around, it’s difficult to judge how to really make things equal (tax argument anyone?). An easy way to see what is not equal would be to look at who is excluded. Who is left out? In the case of marriage, those excluded are the people of the LGBTQ community. In Washington, we get “everything but marriage” – a statement often used in our State that clearly exemplifies what we aren’t allowed.
As Governor Gregoire pointed out in January, this is reminiscent of the separate but equal mentality that plagued our country in the past.
Even after all that political stuff, what Referendum 74 is really about is love. If two people love one another, who are we to say their love is any less? The love amongst us can only do great things for this country. It will make us happier, more prosperous, united.
I may not have someone in my life right now, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still dream of that wedding day. The day where I love someone so much, I want to stand up in front of all of the important people in my life and vow to love and cherish that (lucky, to-be-determined) girl for the rest of my life. I dream of growing old with someone. I want to host dinner parties, celebrate anniversaries, comfort another in the face of tragedy, be someone’s rock.
And I will not love any more or any less because of my right (or lack of right) to marry. Nothing would or could change the love that I have (and will have) in my heart. What changes now is how that love and future commitment is treated by the state. I won’t have a “wedding” and a “marriage” in sarcastic quotes as if it is not real and legitimate to my life. I will have a marriage, period.
So I thank Washington state and I hope our vision of equal rights comes to fruition for more states in the future. My future family will thank you for recognizing that our love is no different than yours. We should not stifle each other’s love. We should embrace it and cherish it because there is far too little of it in the world.
So love as you would have loved and I will love as I would love. Except now, maybe we can give someone else the opportunity to feel as if their love is okay. Hopefully soon, no one in this country will have to feel like their love is second-rate. Hopefully now, there can be more love. And what’s so bad about that?