Election 2012: Washington state voters approve Referendum 74 granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry

Voters in Washington state have approved Referendum 74 allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force contributed staff resources and training to the marriage equality efforts in Washington.

Task Force Executive Director said:

This is a tremendous victory for Washingtonians. It affirms what millions of people across the country already know — loving, committed same-sex couples and their families should be able to join in the celebration and responsibilities of marriage, just as their friends, family, neighbors and colleagues already do.

This has been a long journey of changing hearts and minds. The many years of door-knocking, phone calls and poignant conversations about why marriage matters have broken down walls, placed a spotlight on our common humanity and brought us to this incredible moment. The transformative nature of people talking about their love and their lives is clear, as we see with this victory in Washington and in the fact that the majority of Americans now supports the freedom to marry.

Congratulations to Washington United for Marriage, Equal Rights Washington, the Pride Foundation and to all those who have been part of the journey leading to this important victory. We are proud to have partnered with them over the months and years it has taken to get here. We rejoice in this victory and continue to press forward to the day when loving couples and families in every state can share in the celebration of marriage.

The Task Force’s work on marriage equality in Washington

Over the years, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has worked with equality advocates in Washington state to secure protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families.

This includes supporting the successful campaign when the Task Force Action Fund partnered with Tacoma United for Fairness to preserve the city’s existing nondiscrimination ordinance; the victorious effort to secure statewide nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people; the passage of Referendum 71 to extend domestic partner rights; and partnering with Washington United for Marriage this fall, where we worked alongside field organizers calling voters and recruiting volunteers, and provided training for the Washington United field staff on volunteer recruitment and team development.