I have included a couple more responses from lawmakers to their constituents.
But first, a couple of things happening now in Olympia.
As you know both the Senate and the House bills to redefine marriage were heard this week. Thank you again to all who attended the hearings. It was great to see you standing for marriage---literally in the hallways.
The Senate committee had an executive session yesterday to discuss SB 6239. As expected, they voted it out of committee, thus setting up a vote on the Senate floor. The Senate also rejected an amendment that would have referred it to the people for a vote. Proponents of redefining marriage do not want the people to decide.
The House committee will have their executive session on their marriage bill HB 2516 this coming Monday. We will keep you updated.
With the continued deterioration of public education, I think it is not only important to address the mess in public education, but to also support the Washington State Home School Network.
I strongly encourage you to stand with these parents and their children. I believe in them and in what they are doing. I have linked their website above. Go to the site and contact DiAnna Weatherbee Brannon and see how you can help.
They have their annual Homeschool Day At The Capitol coming up on February 8. You may want to register and be a part of that.
Here are more personal responses from lawmakers, as they respond to their constituents, who happen to be our friends:
Response from Sen. Rodney Tom
Thank you so much for writing with regards to the governor's proposal legalizing same sex marriages here in Washington State. I understand your opposition because I have a father whose position aligns more closely with yours than it does with mine. I think the take away value we all should share is that sometimes good people on both sides of an issue are simply going to disagree. I'm sure that will be the case on this matter.
Throughout my ten years here in the legislature I have consistently supported domestic partnerships and the rights of those in our gay and lesbian community. If the bill comes before us, I will be voting in favor of granting same sex couples the right to marry. Civil rights are a two-way street. This is why the proposal, as it has been described by the governor, would include numerous exemptions for religious organizations and clergy, allowing them to continue to exercise their religious freedoms.
I especially think in this economic environment we all need to work together to move our economy forward and create the kind of high tech jobs that form the basis of our dwindling middle class. The high tech sector is a prime example of why granting these rights is important for Washington's economy. Companies like Google and Microsoft would not be able to hire some of their best and brightest employees if they themselves did not make sure same sex couples did not have the same benefits and healthcare as their heterosexual colleagues.
I know this is a very personal issue for many people and the passions run high. For me, although I will be voting for this legislation, my focus over these next several months will remain steadfast on creating a budget that not only balances this year, but delivers long term sustainability so that we can get off the roller coaster of promising one thing, yet always facing the next legislative session with a deficit.
Again I thank you for your involvement and voicing your opinion. It's a critical component to the democratic process.
o 800.562.6000 hotline
And this is an exchange between Rep. Sherry Appleton and an informed constituent who opposes redefining marriage:
From: Appleton, Rep. Sherry
Subject: RE: Opposed to redefinition of marriage
This legislation has nothing to do with religious marriage, I would be very opposed to it if it were. This is about "civil legal marriage" and here are the reasons: 1,044 tax laws are specifically defined in federal law for "married couples" - not domestic partnerships, et al.
I have always felt that if someone is part of our democracy, pays taxes, that they should be allowed all the rights and privileges that all of us are entitled to. In our society in this day and age, love is so hard to come by. I think love is a beautiful and enduring emotion between two people and it matters not to me what the person's sexual orientation might be.
We won't agree on this, but I just wanted to let you know why I support this bill. Thank you for writing.
Sherry V. Appleton
Representative, 23rd Legislative District, Pos. 1
Vice-Chair, State Government and Tribal Affairs
Vice-Chair, Health and Human Services Appropriations
Legislative Bldg. 132F P.O. Box 40600 Olympia, WA 98504
Executive Legislative Assistant : Donna Bezon email@example.com
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety".
And here is the constituent's response to her response:
To: " Rep. SherryAppleton"
Response to your points:
1. Of course this will attempt to mandate change to religious holdings, it will be against the law to not recognize a "married" couple for services rendered by religious organizations, for employment, etc.
2. We are discussing State law, not Federal Tax law, I do not see how your conclusion in this regards bears relevance.
3. On this point you are correct, we do disagree. Love alone does not equate rationale for marriage. I will be sure to reflect this disagreement at the next election.
Thank you for your response,
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Bold. Be Active. Be Blessed.
Have a great weekend.