Support equality, approve R-74

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Every year I write a letter to the editor regarding National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11). This day is an important opportunity for LGBT people to be open about who they are. It is also a chance for straight people to express their support for equal rights and mutual respect.

This year, it is especially important for all LGBT people and their allies to come out, not just to celebrate the freedom to be themselves, but also in support of marriage equality.

On Nov. 6, voters will have the opportunity to approve Referendum 74 and once and for all give everyone the same right to marry whomever they want in a civil proceeding. (Churches will not be forced to perform gay marriages, but some will happily do so.) All domestic partnerships can become legal marriages.

In some sense, the effort to approve R-74 is just a battle over a word, but it is a very important word. Why should one group be able to define the meaning of a word we all use? How can one group think it can keep a word just for itself? Can language be segregated? No.

Neither can the evolution of a word be stopped. The meaning of marriage has changed over time, just as the meaning of freedom has changed. Marriage is no longer exclusive to heterosexuals, just as freedom is not just for white people.

Words are very powerful. We all know the children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” is false. Words can be very damaging, even though we deny it and try to rise above it.

By approving R-74, we will acknowledge that all people deserve the equal right to use and embrace any word, particularly the word “marriage.” We will not stigmatize any segment of the population by labeling them with lesser words or narrow definitions. This verbal equality will help us treat everyone’s choice of life partner with equality and respect.

In addition, by approving R-74, we will reach out to everyone, especially that gay kid who is considering suicide because she thinks she is worthless, rejected, and dirty. We will tell her she is important and worthy of happiness, worthy of that special word, “marriage.”

Words are powerful. The vote is powerful. Use your power to approve R-74. Be an equality voter.

Annie Capestany

Walla Walla

Comments

namvet60 2 years, 2 months ago

WOW Annie - racism is sure showing thru - only white people enjoy being a heterosexual or freedom? WOW - it seems the only people getting the brunt end is the taxpayers supporting all of this wayward idiotic legislation!

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wallyworldguy 2 years, 2 months ago

In 2009, voters approved the “everything but marriage” law. That means a same-sex couple in Washington already has every legal right and obligation in Washington that an opposite sex couple has. No exceptions.

annie, you already have everything you need right there. I think you have a very big chip on your shoulder because not everyone accepts same sex relationships. Well, you can not legislate people into accepting something that goes against their own beliefs. You are trying to, but you can't. I think your attitude is what it is because not all accept that lifestyle and that offends you. So you try to get back by trying to force people to accept it with R-74. which, as you said is nothing but a "word" definition.

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campbell_rd 2 years, 2 months ago

The goal is to redefine traditional marriage and to force others to accept this immoral lifestyle. Marriage is between one man and one woman, if this outrageous referendum is retained the flood gates will open for all sorts of "marriages" (three wives, three husbands, etc). The law already stands to allow legal unions with all legal rights. Marriage does not need to be redefined!

The silent christian and moral majority needs to stand united against this referendum which only serves to publicize this immoral behavior . You want to be homosexual and be treated normally, then do it in the privacy of your home and don't tell us about it. Stop this legislation now!

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