FOLLOWUP: Burien City Council Supports Marriage Equality Act

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The Burien City Council voted unanimously Monday night (Jan. 23) to express its support for the Marriage Equality Act, which would legalize same-sex marriage in Washington, now under consideration by the Legislature.

At the beginning of the council’s first meeting since Jan. 9 – which was the same day the 2012 Legislature convened – Councilman Jack Block Jr. asked that the matter be added to the evening’s agenda.

In the meantime, Gov. Chris Gregoire voiced her support for legalizing gay marriage in the state, and earlier Monday it appeared the Senate had enough votes to pass the act – virtually assuring its passage by the Legislature.

“We have an important role as a city council to protect the equality of all our citizens,” Block said to begin their discussion. Recalling passage of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, he added, “It’s the right thing to do.”

Block asked them “to continue the proud tradition of the city council to advocate for all our citizens.”

Among those actions, the council approved in 2005 benefits for same-sex partners of city employees. That legislation was sponsored by Block, along with then-Councilman Stephen Lamphear, who is openly gay.

Councilman Gerald Robison said it was important for the council to go on the record as supporting the Marriage Equality Act.

Block moved to adopt his motion to make it so, and Councilwoman Joan McGilton seconded it, adding, “I voice my support for it.”

Council members Bob Edgar and Lucy Krakowiak were absent.

City staff will draft a letter stating the council’s official support of the measure, which will be sent to the governor and the Legislature.

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38 Responses to “FOLLOWUP: Burien City Council Supports Marriage Equality Act”
  1. M-on-a-bike says:

    Yes! Good! Thank you, Burien City Council, for taking this stand in support of so many in our community. It’s time.

  2. Jason says:

    This is disappointing to Burien. Your biased views on this and your unanimous vote on this issue obviously makes a much stronger statement that you DO NOT support all of Burien residents.

    You cannot tell me that every single person in Burien believes this is the right thing to do!! I would be much happier if one of you stood up and had a backbone to say no. I know in my heart there is one of you that thinks this way. You are obviously too scared to voice your opinion.

    It is also obvious that the council we now have is more impressed on Inclusion for ‘inclusions’ sake than what the people really want.

    This whole county has become so blind to accepting change because it is politically correct. I am so sick of being under supported from my voted officials. Shame on you.

    • Coverofnight says:

      Jason, I agree with you 100%! And it’s amazing how the gay community, estimated at less than 5% of the nation’s population, has seemingly coerced elected officials (with threats of being homophobic and discriminatory) into legislation that may not truly reflect the desires of the entire population they are supposed to represent. Jason, maybe you and I are the only ones who have a backbone in this City.

      I didn’t vote for Obama because he wasn’t qualified to be President, but liberals will immediately jump all over me as being racist and not voting for him just because he’s black. In a similar vein, I expect liberals to jump all over me as homophobic for this…I don’t support the Marriage Equality Act and I don’t support the promotion of the gay lifestyle…..there, I said it!

      • Ivan Weiss says:

        Let me spell it out for you, Coverofnight, in plain language that even you might understand:

        It makes no difference under the law if you “support the gay lifestyle” or not. Gay Americans pay taxes just like you and I do, and by doing so, they are entitled to equal rights, equal responsibilities, and equal protection of the law.

        Marriage is a legal state, that carries with it rights, responsibilities, and protections. If we accept your position that gay Americans should not enjoy the rights, responsibilities, and protections that their tax dollars have paid for, then maybe we should calculate the monetary value of those rights, responsibilities, and protections, and give a tax rebate to the gay Americans to whom you would deny them.

        After all, fair is fair, right? You want your tax dollar’s worth out of government, don’t you? Sure you do, and so do I, and so does everyone else. Well, if you have the right to demand that — which you certainly do — then who the hell are you to want to deny it to anyone else who has paid their share?

      • devil`s advocate says:

        I have a brother who is gay (along with a few friends who are also gay and they all know my feelings about this) and what he does (and them) is what he does. I don`t condemn him for it, matter of fact, his “partner” is a helluva nice guy and I really like but they don`t flaunt their lifestyle like some of them do but if this crap of gay equality was to ever fly and they decided to “tie the knot” sort of speak, I would not attend the wedding.
        To each their own I say but I just don`t think it`s right. If I was to find out one of my kids were gay would I disown them? Absolutely not but..
        And as far as a terrible injustice, is that what you call it Erik?
        A terrible injustice?..*lol*
        There are a lot of terrible injustices in this world but but not allowing gay marriage isn`t one of them.
        If that issue ever came up to vote, I would vote a resounding no.
        I know I`m going to hear it for this comment below but who gives a shit,
        Flamers are the absolute worst. I can handles gays, but flamers should be tied to an ant hill and covered in honey.

        • Keith says:

          Wow, your brother and your friends must love having such a bigoted ass in the family. You say you don’t condemn them for it? You might want to re-read what you just wrote because you in fact are doing just that.

          • Feral Dog says:

            Point out to me where he insinuated that. If you are talking the flamers, even a lot of the gay community doesn`t like flamers, they say they give them a bad name.
            But if you like them and enjoy running with them. All the more power to ya.
            Go to the solstice parade, take off your clothes and paint your ass green and hop on your 10 speed and feel the wind between your legs brother. Support your gay community.
            Have you ever been denied access to the person you love because of your “chosen partner’? Or is it just something you remember reading in the Seattle times a few back
            and could feel the empathy?
            Lets talk equality here, If I have a boyfriend I can put him on my insurance without being married , equality.
            But if I have a girlfriend and just haven`t gotten around to married I can`t.
            That`s equality?

          • Keith says:

            Feral Dog,

            His mentioning of “not going to a wedding” is a condemnation.
            Yours and his mention of “flamers” is borderline racism. He threatened violence against a subset of gay people.

            There is your proof you bigot.

        • other side of the tracks says:

          You always resort to name calling when you can`t think of a decent argument?
          I`ve noticed that in a few of your posts unless there are more than one Keith posting here.

          • Keith says:

            I am sorry that the truth of pointing out a bigot is considered “name calling.”

          • othersideofthetracks says:

            Maybe not Keith but you also called him an ass. He just happens to be a friend is all and I know he doesn`t take kindly to being called names.

          • Keith says:

            Well if he is going to proclaim in a public forum his antiquated views denying all citizens the equal rights they deserve then he might want to get a tougher skin.

          • Feral Dog says:

            No problem T, it`s all good, I just consider the source.
            I just think keith figures since Burien supports same sex marriage that he can come out of the closet and maybe his mommy and daddy won`t disown his wimpy ass and he
            wont have to hang out up on capitol hill so much.

          • Keith says:

            Thats your response? Wow.

            Lets lay some facts out then shall we?

            Heterosexual and married to a wonderful woman for 12 years
            Owns a home in Burien, don’t need to hang out in Capitol Hill
            Wimpy? Says the man who calls himself “feral dog”
            Disowned by my parents? Not a chance since I happen to have parents who themselves aren’t bigots and raised me to respect my fellow human beings. You sir do not deserve that respect at all.

            Ever wonder why so many “anti-gay” people turn out to be gay themselves? Might want to take long hard look in the mirror yourself.

      • Sad says:

        My neighbor loves his dog. So now he can marry his dog because he pays taxes?
        Is that what is next? Dog/human marriage? Or imagine the really slippery slope this implies…
        And as far as people who declare themselves to be homosexual being 5% of the overall population it is more like less than 1%.
        So why with all the problems we face as a community, is this the lead story on all the news?
        I now know who is controlling the conversation in our society.
        Shouldn’t our elected politicians be focuses on the real issues we face everyday?

        • Ivan Weiss says:

          Dogs are not people. Civil rights do not take a back seat to other issues, not now and not ever. The majority will speak on this issue, and you will not be in it. Sucks to be you, but you’ll just have to man up and live with it.

        • nartweag says:

          Since when can a dog sign a legal document? Marriage is a legal contract between two people. Dogs and that whole line of thinking is just moronic, and tries to side track the real issue. There is really no legal reason that civil marriage should not be allowed for any two people. The Constitution says all people should have equal protection under the law.

          This very easy to follow description proves my points exactly.

      • Keith says:

        You don’t support the “gay lifestyle”? Well there is your problem right there. You don’t support humanity then. There is no such thing as a “gay lifestyle” as if someone just decides one day to be gay and can not if they really wanted to.

    • Betsy says:

      Jason – When has ANY city council EVER been able to support an issue that all of its citizens support? That is impossible thus unrealistic. I am however in favor of gay marriage as a civil rights issue. Americans should have the right to choose their partners without government involvement. It could even be considered an issue many Republicans rally around – big government!

      As for you Devil’s Advocate – have you ever been denied access to the person you love in a hospital setting because they don’t recognize your chosen partner as legitimate? Until you have I’m not sure you know what it would be like to experience this. Have you paid more taxes because you cannot marry? Have you been denied insurance coverage? And, If the people you speak of have a wedding ceremony it is certainly within your rights not to attend

  3. Rebecca Dare says:

    Thank you Burien City Council! This is a courageous statement for civil and human rights. I feel proud of my city. Again, thank you.

  4. Jessica says:

    Jason- What will you do when people come after rights that affect you? Will you expect people that you didn’t support to stand up for you? There is nothing politically correct about all people being able to wed, it is a civil right and there is no reason (other than a religious one) that all people should not be allowed to marry.

  5. Adrenalin Tim says:

    Bravo, Burien! Hat’s off to the council for standing up for liberty & justice for all!

  6. Eric says:

    What a great way for the City to celebrate marriage equity and the righting of a terrible injustice. Thank you to all of the Council.

  7. I attended this meeting last night and was very proud to speak (during public comment) in support of this measure last night. It’s “only” a resolution in support of the bill before the legislature in Olympia however, it says alot.

    I briefly mentioned and compared this scenario to the ani-miscegeny laws that were in place in this country. Laws that would have prevented me (a Latino) from marrying my wife (a white woman). What business is it to the government whom I love and marry. (Washington as a State has never had anti-miscegeny laws).

    At the time the government, religion, and so many others would not fatham this type of relationship. They said it was wrong and immoral. We know better know. I pray our grand kids say the same thing about this decision.

    Joey Martinez

  8. Nancy Charpentier says:

    Wow – I was wondering how long it would take to equate the marriage of my partner and I to each other to a marriage between a person and a dog. There’s really no rational response to such an irrational position, so I’ll just reiterate a few civic lessons long forgotten it seems.

    Constitutional rights exist in large part to protect a minority from the tyranny of the majority. Democracy does not ensure majority rule on who gets to benefit under civil law. That would be assigning special rights, in this case to heterosexuals. All laws should apply to all citizens. My marriage will not affect yours, so stop trying to prevent mine. I am a citizen and therefore entitled to full rights of citizenship.

    Lastly, we’ve been able to marry in churches, synagogues and other places of worship for decades now. Time for civil law to catch up.

    And ps – we’re generally assumed to comprise 10-12% of the population. Not that it matters. Think what you like of me – I truly don’t care. But stop claiming special rights for yourself. It’s SO last century…..

  9. Rob says:

    Some dudes marry dudes
    Some Chicks marry Chicks
    So get over it!

  10. Bryan says:

    Thank you City of Burien.

  11. VERY TIRED says:

    Way to go.

    Nice to see that the City of Burien supports such a useless thing called “marriage”. I mean, after all, that is what you are doing…you and the rest of your ilk by supporting this aberrant and empty-headed bill.

    Marriage is between and man and woman. Period. End of discussion. I do not support, condone, celebrate, or seek to imbue favour upon those who choose to engage in behaviour that is contrary to nature. Up until the 1970’s, before the psychiatry profession was co-opted in several different ways (that I have neither the compunction or the wherewithal to go into at this juncture), this condition was treated by therapy and counseling. The few physicians that view this condition in it’s proper light saw this as a condition to cure. Now, it’s just “who they are”. What nonsense.

    People with this condition make the choice to continue to deny it’s implications, and we, as a society have given this behaviour a free pass. So be it, engage in whatever depravity you like…in your bedroom. Stop displaying this nonsense in the public square. I don’t care who you “love” (more like misplaced affection and lust, but I digress), just stop trying to force the rest of us to consider this normal. Not going to happen.

    I do not have an issue with someone who calls themselves gay and wants to live that way in their private life, and I will tolerate people who they claim to be. I will not accept this as normal. There is no discrimination. People who choose this lifestyle have to make that decision based on the consequences. This bill is absurd, this movement for granting rights where there are none is absurd, and the City Council is even more useless than they were before.

    • Keith says:

      Where exactly do you get this antiquated notion of “marriage is between a man and a woman”?

      The fact that you consider how someone is born a “condition” just continues to prove your bigoted view. This IS a civil rights issue. Plain and simple.

      You say “I will not accept this as normal. There is no discrimination. ” You might want to look up what the word discrimination means because I don’t think you do.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Feral Dog – In your reply to Betsy you mention that male/female partners that don’t chose to marry are discriminated against because without marrying they may be denied insurance. That is the whole point of the gay marriage law – then all will be equal for both same sex and male/female relationships: If you chose to marry you get the marriage benefits – if you don’t, you don’t. Plus it wraps up all the other inequities. Seattle seems to be more comfortable with same sex relationships then, say, oh South Carolina. And follow this link to see that it happens in good old Maryland – 5 days ago. (Even though it was against Maryland law it still did happen. .
    Now on to the next question – why should marrying bring financial benefits anyway? And lastly, why the Feral Dog name? Just asking….

    • Feral Dog says:

      I may be wrong here and correct me if I am, but isn`t it here in Washington that if you have a same sex partner that person qualifies for to be on your medical insurance because you can`t get married?
      But if you have a opposite sex partner and you are not married you cannot add them to your insurance until you marry them? If this is true, is that equal?
      I know people say that marriage is an institution between a man and a woman and under the law you are allowed to get married and that is the basis for that law.
      But is it fair that in order to get my girlfriend on my insurance I have to marry her and same sex partners don`t?
      And now, how did I get the feral Dog name? Short version, it was given to me by the daughter of a member on this board who teaches close combat self-defense training and when I first met him and asked him about the benefits of this class his 13 year old daughter gave a demonstration of just how easily a person can be disarmed and maimed even by a person almost twice her size which at that time happened to be me. I signed up after that and was told one of the most important things besides keeping your head was to be like a feral dog in your defensive attack, proceed and don`t stop until the person is incapacitated. I said a feral dog huh and his daughter would say here comes the feral dog when I would show up for my lesson and we ended up pretty good friends and the name just kind of stuck. It`s actually Evan.

  13. Jack Block Jr. says:

    Correction: Burien’s anti discrimination ordinance was passed in 2005. Lamphear and I co-sponsored it.

    For those displeased by my pushing this forward or my vote on this issue, you’ll have an opportunity, if I decide to run again, to voice your opinion at the polls. And not that it’s anyone’s business, but I’m straight. Civil rights are civil rights.

    • William Forest says:

      Jack you are one of the members on the council that deserves to be there. You don’t have to justify your vote. You listen to the residents, unlike some others on the council who have gotten into the habit of turning a deaf ear.

  14. Sad says:

    Keep hammering away at the foundations of society and it will crumble.
    It’s not about civil rights, its about behavior.

    • Ivan Weiss says:

      It is about equal protection under the law, which is integral to, and enshrined in, the Constitution of the United States of America. The same Constitution that protects your right to a jury trial equal to everyone else’s, and protects your right to keep and bear arms just like anyone else’s, also allows gay people to marry whomever they choose to marry, just like it allows you the right to marry whomever YOU choose. And it allows ALL PEOPLE the same protections under the law.

      The Constitution is the guarantor of our rights and responsibilities. You might try reading it sometime.

  15. Sadder says:

    It’s not about the Constitution, it’s about behavior.
    Behavior that can be changed if so desired.

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