Get Out Your Friends, Get Out The VOTE!

This November, every vote WILL count. We can’t win unless our supporters reach out and remind their networks that this election matters.

And now we’ve created a social tool to help you do it.

Today, we launched our “Get Out Your Friends” Facebook application. The app makes it easy to discover who among your FB friends has voted, and who still needs a little reminder to cast their ballot.

By using the GOYF tool,supporters can cross-reference their Facebook networks with the state’s publicly available voter database. The user can then send a message to their friends expressing their approval of the freedom to marry and activate their network to vote

“This is a 21st century voter tool that we believe our supporters will love and implement,” said WUM campaign manager Zach Silk.

Once supporters vote, they can also create their own customized profile photo with a variety of Approve R74 graphics using the Approve 74 “I VOTED” tool.

Posted by scott | November 1, 2012

Countdown to Equality: Helen and Aimee

When Helen Fallat, 28, and Aimee Dailey, 34, got engaged, they didn’t know marriage was on the horizon—that is, for the state of Washington. In August 2011, domestic partnerships were all the state offered, and they planned a commitment ceremony for September 2012.

In the interim the Washington legislature passed marriage equality bill, but with implementation on hold pending the vote, they wouldn’t be able to actually wed in time to be September brides. The rental hall and caters had deposits so the show had to go on. And go on it did. The couple shared a day of commitment with their friends and family at the Guemes Island resort, that Helen’s sister describes as “amazing.”

They skipped registering for a domestic partnership because they are looking forwarding to marrying. Why does marriage matter? Aimee says she’s looked for her partner all her life and marriage is an institution people understand, “Your kids will respect it, your parents respect it.”

Helen’s perspective is bit more pragmatic: “It’s important having the state tell us they recognize the commitment we’ve made to each other, and that the state will respect and protect that.”

The two are in complete agreement that there will children are in their future. When I ask, they both simultaneously inject an enthusiastic “Yes!” It’s clear they’ve put a lot of thought into the endeavor.

Helen and Aimee live in Wallingford and both work as servers at the Coastal Kitchen in Seattle. Helen is studying physical therapy and volunteers at the University of Washington clinic. Why physical therapy? “It’s the one-on-one relationship you build with clients I enjoy,” she says. “You’re helping them to help themselves.”

What’s the “for worse” part of the marriage equation for Helen? “Aimee’s very neat. It’s nice that the house is always in order, but I had to be trained.”

And the “for better” part? Helen says “Aimee’s passion for life. She’s really excited just to be here, and live each day to the fullest. She’s a pretty happy person.”

Aimee says: “When you look at Helen you see the most genuine, kind person. She always has the best intentions towards all the people she meets.”

Posted by scott | November 1, 2012

[Video] Countdown to Equality: Jennifer and Elizabeth

When Jennifer Moran met her partner Elizabeth at a Dixie Chicks concert in 2005, she had no idea there was a suburban cul de sac in her future. She enjoyed the excitement of living in the city.

These days the Moran’s agenda involves more car pools than music concerts. The family is a little bit Brady Bunch—minus one plus a twist. The couple brought five kids to the relationship between them; twins Ryan and Quincy, 7; Ellie, 8, Ashley, 11; and Peyton 14. The kids are close and consider each other siblings.

Believe it or not, four of their five kids share a single birthday: September 9. Does Ashley, the lone April birthday feel left out? No, she loves it, says Jennifer: “Everyone feels sorry for her in September so they bring her a little gift, then she gets a birthday all to herself in April.” Birthdays were easier when the kids were younger, they could all have one party. Now Ryan has no interest in sharing his sister’s princess-themed parties.

The family moved from Ballard to Bothell in 2007. Jennifer, the Executive Manager of Carter Subaru and Volkswagen dealership in Shoreline and Ballard, wondered how their “modern family” would mesh in suburbia. She feared her kids not fit in. But things have worked out great. She says a “million dollars” couldn’t get her to move. The kids have lots of friends. Elizabeth, a stay at home mom, is busy with the kids, volunteering at the school, and car pooling. They feel like just every other family in the community.

Why does marriage matter? Jennifer says there wouldn’t be a change in her feelings or her commitment to the relationship or her family. But like any mom, she thinks first of her kids. When Gov. Gregoire signed the bill, they got excited to see their moms get married. The girls even picked out dresses.

“In their minds, they think we’re married, just the same as her best friends’ parents.” If the Referendum 74 failed, Jennifer can’t imagine how she’ll tell the kids. “The devastation and confusion… I don’t know how we’d explain to our kids that it wasn’t OK with people that their parents should be married.”

The couple already had a big commitment ceremony with their families after domestic partnerships passed in 2009. But they do intend to do it again, probably on the water which they love. The family has a 28-foot classic cruiser that sleeps the whole family, if maybe a little snugly.

“It won’t be anything that big again,” Jennifer says, “If I tried that Elizabeth would kill me.”

Elizabeth + Jennifer from Aaron Horton on Vimeo.

Posted by scott | October 30, 2012

Catholics Show Support for Marriage Equality

Our opponents would have you believe that people of faith are inherently opposed to extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. But here at Washington United, we know better. People of faith are a crucial part of our campaign to Approve Referendum 74. Catholics, in particular, have been outspoken in their support for defending our state’s bipartisan marriage law.
This past weekend, Catholics for Marriage Equality organized a “Liturgy of Love” — an event for pro-equality Catholics to come together and pray that Referendum 74 is approved on Election Day so that all loving couples can marry in Washington.

Events like this demonstrate that even though Catholic bishops unsurprisingly Despite the expected opposition from Seattle’s Archbishop and other leaders in the Church, fair-minded Catholics around the state are mobilizing to ensure that their voices are heard on Election Day. As one parishioner told the Seattle PI:

“I find (bishops’ claims) perplexing:. Nothing about marriage equality in the state of Washington is any infringement on liberty.  This is about civil marriage and civil law,” said John Morfield, a longtime parishoner at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

National polls show that a majority of Catholics around the country support marriage equality, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing in Washington. We’re incredibly grateful to the countless Catholic Washingtonians who are taking action with and investing in this campaign.

Click here to read more from the Seattle PI’s report on Catholic support for Referendum 74 in Washington.
Image: Joshua Trujillo/

Posted by sylvia | October 29, 2012

Photo of the Day: Trick or Vote!?

Image: Toby Crittenden

Over 400 costumed volunteers gathered at Temple de Hirsch Sinai before spreading out to neighborhoods across Seattle to speak to voters about Approve 74.

Posted by sylvia | October 27, 2012

Cougs for Marriage Video Goes Viral

Two weeks ago, Washington State University student Lakecia Farmer “had an idea to film and edit a video in support of Referendum 74, an initiative to approve same-sex marriage in Washington state.”

Two weeks later, her breakthrough video has been featured on Washington United for Marriage’s social media pages, covered on the Human Rights Campaign blog, and tweeted (and retweeted) numerous times after receiving thousands of views.

Set to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love”, the video features over 30 Washington State University students dclaring their personal reasons for supporting Marriage Equality in Washington State.

The political science and philosophy major “Didn’t want to be quiet” about her support for Referendum 74, and believes she accomplished her mission with a short video that packed a powerful message.

See the video here:


Posted by sylvia | October 26, 2012

Busted: Opponents’ Ad Doesn’t Pass The “Smell Test”

Image: Flickr/The Rocketeer

Our opponents are on air with their latest ad and not surprisingly, there’s not much truth to it.

The ad features two instances in which opponents of the freedom to marry have supposedly been fined or fired for opposing marriage for same-sex couples. In the first example, innkeepers from Vermont claim that they were sued for refusing to allow a same-sex couple to host their wedding. The second example features a Canadian sportscaster who claims that he lost his job after he tweeted that he opposes marriage equality.

But as supporters of Referendum 74 know, these claims simply aren’t true. Approving Referendum 74 protects the rights of churches and individuals to define marriage however they wish. It merely allows committed same-sex couples to obtain civil marriage licenses. And when put to the test, our opponents’ ad — like the ads that have preceded it — just don’t stand true.

But don’t just take our word for it. The Tacoma News Tribune investigated the ad and came to the same conclusion:

The speakers describe their experiences accurately. But it’s a stretch to describe a firing by a private company in Canada and a penalty based on an anti-discrimination law in Vermont as examples of how “Referendum 74 can harm people who oppose gay marriage.” While it’s possible those kinds of incidents could happen in Washington, there’s no evidence that R-74 makes them more likely.

Click here to read more of their “Political Smell Test” and be sure to share it with your friends to help us fight back.

As our opponents continue to air deceiving ads featuring folks from out-of-state, we’ll continue to tell the stories of real, diverse Washingtonians who are casting their ballots to Approve Referendum 74.

Posted by sylvia | October 25, 2012

Tacoma City Councilman Ryan Mello: Approve Referendum 74

Ryan Mello is a member of Tacoma’s City Council and a strong supporter of this campaign. Recently, he penned a moving piece in the Tacoma News Tribune explaining why he – both as an elected official and as an openly gay man in a committed relationship – is voting to Approve Referendum 74.

Councilman Mello says that a commitment to marry the person you love is not unlike the commitment a city makes to it’s citizens. Just as a city promises to protect its citizens through even the worst times, a spouse makes a lifelong commitment to love and protect his or her spouse through the good times and the bad.

His call to Washington voters is spot-on, and really drives home what this campaign is all about:

“Marriage is the most definitive, universally understood statement a couple can make about their lifetime commitment and couples often wed in front of friends and family so they can help support the relationship in good times and bad. It is more than a legal status – it is the promise that two people make to provide each other the fundamental support we all need to be our best, day in and day out.”

Councilman Mello isn’t alone in supporting Referendum 74 in Tacoma. Earlier this month, the city council voted unanimously to endorse our campaign.

Click here to read Councilman Mello’s full piece in the Tacoma News Tribune.

Posted by sylvia | October 24, 2012

Congratulations to our Drawing Contest Winners!

We have winners in our “Draw your Family” Contest! One winner was selected from each age group (2-4, 5-7, 8-11). All submissions will receive a prize, but a special prize pack is reserved for each of our winners! Congratulations, kids!

Winner: (Ages 2-4) – Emma, aged 4

Winner: (Ages 5-7) – Xander, aged 6

Winner: (Ages 8-11) – Julia, aged 10

Posted by sylvia | October 24, 2012

Photo of the Day: October 23, 2012

Gonzaga University students canvassing for Approve 74 in Spokane.

Posted by sylvia | October 23, 2012