Council President Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Seattle City Council approves marriage equality resolution
Councilmembers unanimously support state legislative efforts
SEATTLE – Seattle City Councilmembers today unanimously approved Resolution 31356 declaring full support of state-wide marriage equality, urging the Washington State Legislature to swiftly pass Senate Bill 6239. This bill is explicitly intended to end discrimination in marriage based on gender and sexual orientation, while respecting the religious freedom of religious institutions to determine for whom to perform marriage ceremonies.
"I’m sure it’s no surprise that the Seattle City Council favors marriage equality," said Council President Sally J. Clark. "We’ve long been on record in support, and many of my colleagues and I have actively lobbied for the cause. It’s heartening to hear the legislature has the support to turn the measure into law."
"As chair of the committee that oversees Seattle’s Office for Civil Rights, I wish to thank the members of the Washington State Senate, House of Representatives, and Gov. Gregoire on fighting for marriage equality in our state," said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. "Families come in many forms and all families in our city and state should enjoy equal rights and opportunities. We all benefit from an environment that promotes equality."
The Council resolution also recognizes that all people are created equal and should be treated as such by their government and provides a formal declaration of support to the state legislature and Gov. Gregoire.
"I’m thrilled to support this resolution urging State Legislators to take the final step toward marriage equality. It’s about time we lived in a state which recognizes everyone’s equal rights under the law," said Councilmember Jean Godden.
"It’s long past time for all people in same-sex relationships to be allowed to marry. Washington’s ‘everything but marriage’ law has served its purpose yet I’m glad that many agree that it still falls short of what right and fair," stated Councilmember Nick Licata.
"The elected leadership of Seattle stands united in support of the marriage equality legislation," said Councilmember Tim Burgess. "Washington should no longer make distinctions based on sexual orientation. I encourage my colleagues and friends in the state legislature to pass this bill."
In February 1997, the City of Seattle adopted Resolution 29535 opposing discrimination against same-sex couples in Washington State and supporting legal recognition of civil marriages for same-sex couples. Supporting marriage equality is also in the City of Seattle’s 2012 state legislative agenda.
"I am so pleased this day has come," stated Councilmember Sally Bagshaw.
"If two people are ready to commit to spend their lives together, they should have the option to get married," said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. "Marriage equality is the civil rights issue of our day, and I fully believe we must grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights and privileges before the state as straight couples."
"As a licensed officiant, I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate and perform wedding ceremonies as soon as this legislation is approved and I can legally sign the papers," added Councilmember Richard Conlin. "Let’s make it happen!"
"The City of Seattle has long prided itself on its commitment to equality and diversity. Marriage equality should be afforded to all consenting people," stated Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. "Equality and fairness is good for people and business, and marriage equality will make Washington state more attractive to those who would move here. I applaud the efforts of Gov. Gregoire and the Legislature to pass these bills in this session.
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