Voices from the Campaign: Contact Makes a Difference
January 13, 2012 by Guest contributor
This post comes from Marc Eisner, a member of HRC Seattle’s Steering Committee and volunteer for Washington United for Marriage.
As marriage equality gets closer to becoming a reality here in Washington, I realize how effective personal stories and direct contact can be – to co-workers, friends, neighbors, and especially the legislators who will be passing the bill into law.
It turns out my state senator happens to be one of my neighbors, and one who was on the fence in her support of marriage equality. Last week, I wrote her a letter, even though I was hoping to catch her around the neighborhood to tell my story, about my family and how my wife and I support marriage equality for our friends and family and all Washingtonians. Last night, I received this letter in response to mine, announcing her intentions to support marriage equality.
Here’s the letter:
Thank you for sharing your support for Marriage Equality. Below I have shared with you a letter I am releasing to the public tomorrow. Thank you again for involving yourself in the legislative process and lending your voice to such a vital cause.
The governor recently announced her support of marriage equality. For decades our country has struggled with discrimination in many forms. I am proud that our state has a past of joining together to support equality for women, racial minorities, people with disabilities, and religions — now is the time to support all families with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Separate but equal is yet another form of discrimination. For many people, I know this is a very sensitive issue. I have received many letters, emails and phone calls for and against marriage equality legislation. An overwhelming amount of constituents have sided with my own belief, that all Washington citizens deserve the chance to be equal under the law. We are free to believe whatever we choose however we live in a state and world where our laws protect human rights for all.
A main concern I have heard is the right to religious freedom. This bill includes an important exemption for religious organizations and clergy to continue to exercise religious freedom.
In the past, I have supported civil unions, domestic partnerships, and the efforts of Senator Ed Murray to stand up for equality for same sex couples. We as legislators must be vigilant about protecting all of our citizens against discrimination. I support marriage equality and have signed my name onto this long overdue legislation to ensure all of our children grow up in a society that truly promotes equality.
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