As Idaho works this weekend to add the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act (see previous blog post), Washington state may be on its way to approving same-sex marriage. On Thursday, January 26th, a same-sex marriage proposal was approved in a 4-3 vote by a legislative panel, which means it will be sent to the Senate for full debate. The Senate Majority Leader, Lisa Brown (D-Spokane), says the Senate will vote soon, but a date has not been set. The bill may still be amended in the Senate to strengthen protections for religious groups opposed to same-sex marriage. Opponents of the bill have vowed to force a referendum that would put the bill on the ballot this November. Supporters of the bill believe they have the 25 votes needed for the bill to obtain approval by the Senate. (See Spokeman Review article for more information.)
Several Spokane-based events this week provide support for those interested in advocating for marriage equality:
Friday & Saturday, January 27 & 28. Spokane International Film Festival* will screen “Question One,” a film about same-sex marriage in the state of Maine. On May 6th, 2009, Maine became the first state in this country to legislatively grant same-sex couples the right to marry. Seven months later, Maine reversed, becoming the thirty-first state in the United States to say “no” to gay and lesbian marriage. Question One chronicles the fierce, emotional battle that took place in Maine during that time. The film takes a “War Room” cinema-verité approach, covering this civil-rights battle from both sides, as each campaign formulates strategies, creates advertising messages, prays, demonstrates, petitions, and buttonholes. Question One chronicles the issues raised in a battle framed by issues of civil rights, societal changes, religion, children, public school education, sex, love, hate, fear and loathing. But it also tells the very human stories of various individuals who were connected on both sides of the divide, caught up in a cycle of events that would change their lives forever. 7:45pm (Fri) and 11:45am (Sat) at the Magic Lantern, 25 West Main Avenue # 150, Spokane, WA 99201-5090, phone: (509) 209-2211. (Online tickets are sold out, but tickets may be available at the door for $10).
Saturday, January 28, 2012. On Saturday afternoon (1:00pm to 4:00pm), a training will be offered at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane (West Fort George Wright Drive, Spokane, WA) for those who wish to act as local spokespeople for marriage equality. Called “Your Story Matters: Public Speaking and Messaging for Marriage Equality,” the training covers: 1) Becoming a spokesperson for a campaign; 2) What to expect in public forums and debates; 3) Speaking to groups of supporters (aka “preaching to the choir”); 4) Talking to the media; 5) How much of our own stories should we tell vs. using the talking points that poll well; 6) Stepping into the spotlight; 7) Understanding and overcoming the physical and emotional signs of stage fright; 8) How to go from energetic activist to engaged leader for a cause you believe in; 9) Best talking points on Marriage equality from national polling; 10) Talking to people of faith; 11) Talking to people you already know; and 12) How your personal story fits in with the larger talking points. The training is for LGBT and Allied Activists, and those who want to become decision makers for their communities. Please contact Sasha Pollack with any questions: 206-443-5566 or
*Other films at the Spokane International Film Festival that are recommended by OutSpokane include: In the Family and We Were Here (about the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco). The Film Festival runs from January 6 to February 5, 2012.