04-22-2018  6:38 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Think & Drink with Rinku Sen and Mary Li

Event takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Alberta Rose Theater ...

April 24 is Voter Registration Deadline for May 15 Primary Election

Tuesday, April 24, is voter registration and party choice deadline for May 15 Primary Election ...

Portland Libraries Celebrate National Poetry Month

April poetry events and recommended reading from Multnomah County libraries ...

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Pathway 1000 a bold and ambitious 10-year displacement mitigation initiative ...

AG Rosenblum Launches New Resource on Oregon’s New Gun Safety Laws

One-page handout aims to educate Oregonians about the new law ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

The Skanner News Endorsements for May 2018 Elections

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Multnomah County, Portland City Council and more ...

Will HUD Secretary Ben Carson Enforce the Fair Housing Act?

Julianne Malveaux questions HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ability to enforce the Fair Housing Act ...

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Reggie Shuford on the daily indignities African-Americans face in Philadelphia and around the country ...

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Phil Gast CNN

(CNN) -- Boutonnieres, photographers, smiles and tears of joy -- requisite wedding fixtures -- abounded Sunday at Seattle's City Hall.

But for 133 couples, the day's fanfare brought an extra dimension.

After exchanging vows at five stations set up in City Hall, they walked outside and down rain-slickened steps, greeted by cheers, confetti and a brass band celebrating the first day same-sex couples could marry in Washington.

"Today was really about the state of Washington recognizing us," said Robin Wyss, who married Danielle Yung, her partner of eight years. "People beyond our close friends and family saying our family is as valid as any other family."

After years of saying no at the ballot box, American voters for the first time said yes to same-sex marriage this fall in Washington, Maryland and Maine.

The couples married Sunday in Seattle were among the first such couples in Washington to obtain marriage licenses Thursday.

"You are seeing all generations here, people fighting for equality for decades," Aaron Pickus, press secretary to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, told CNN. "It's a very happy day."

Local businesses provided refreshments. Musicians and photographers volunteered their services, Pickus said.

A city website featured interviews with couples, photos, live webcams and information on obtaining a marriage license.

Keith Bacon, 44, and Corianton Hale, 34, of West Seattle were among those tying the knot in simultaneous services.

"After a commitment ceremony (this past summer) we just thought we would go down to City Hall, fill out paperwork and call it good," said Bacon. "(Today) you would hear bursts of applause. It was very festive and joyous, kind of an electric feeling in the air. "

Bacon and Wyss expressed hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will issue rulings favorable to same-sex marriage.

On Friday, the justices said they will hear two constitutional challenges to state and federal laws dealing with the recognition of gay and lesbian couples to legally wed.

Oral arguments will likely be held in March with a ruling by late June.

One appeal to be heard involves the federal Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples legally married in their own state.

The second is a challenge to California's Proposition 8, a voter-approved referendum that took away the right of same sex-marriage that previously had been approved by the state's courts.

Before November's vote, couples in Washington had domestic partner rights. Bacon and Wyss said they now feel full equality.

"Just being able to say Corianton is my husband, not just my partner," Bacon told CNN.

Approval of same-sex marriage in Washington contrasts with the 38 states that have passed bans on marriages between people of the same sex, mostly by amending their constitutions to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In six states -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York -- and the District of Columbia, gays and lesbians have previously won marriage rights because of actions taken by judges or legislators, not voters.

A milestone also occurred this year in the nation's executive branch: President Barack Obama became the first president to openly support same-sex marriage.

These political trends emerged as a majority of Americans say they support legally recognizing same-sex marriage at a time when the public demonstrates increasing comfort with gays and lesbians, according to a CNN/ORC International survey in June.

Bacon said he and Hale have had to deal with acceptance among some family members. "We're in a great place, but it took awhile."

"I feel like we made history today, and I like the way history is going," said Bacon.

CNN's Michael Martinez and Bill Mears contributed to this report.

™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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