Shar Lichty

Marriage Equality matters in Spokane. This was apparent at City Hall on Monday April 16, as I witnessed 300 individuals show up and nearly 100 testify on both sides of the issue. During this meeting, I heard some of the most hateful, ignorant, homophobic statements, lots of scripture and many passionate, heartfelt stories from loving, committed same-sex couples on why they want to marry. After 5 hours of testimony and despite 5 council members stating their support for marriage equality, the resolution was tabled indefinitely. This was a result of 4 council members deciding the issue was not important city business.

On February 13, 2012, marriage equality was signed into law, but the struggle is not yet over. Within hours of the Governor signing the bill, opposition filed a referendum challenging the law. This means the people will have the opportunity to Approve Ref 74 on the ballot in November and make history. When we win this struggle in November, Washington will become the first state in the nation to grant same sex couples their constitutional right to marriage at the ballot.

I have been working with many local leaders and the campaign, Washington United for Marriage, to increase public awareness, voter turnout and support for marriage equality, including weekly meetings with Jon Snyder regarding the resolution and how to strengthen our efforts here in Spokane. We are currently collecting signatures in support with a goal to match the opposition signature for signature for a statewide total of 120,577 by June 6. I have postcards in the office or go to and sign the pledge to Approve Ref 74. We are also phone banking three nights a week and taking pledges over the phone. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me at [email protected].
I value my community and all of the families within it. Marriage equality will strengthen our community and all families. As those of us in the LGBTQ and allied community continue our work to keep the marriage equality law in place, I hope you will join our efforts in whatever way you are able. This can be as simple as voting to Approve Ref 74 in November or talking to your friends and family about why marriage equality matters to you. Let’s make history together!