12-07-2021  3:33 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Judicial Conduct Commission Files Charges Against Judge

The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct announced it has filed a statement of charges against former Clark County District Court Judge Darvin Zimmerman.

Trial Date Set for Tacoma Sheriff in Confrontation with Black Newspaper Carrier

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer was charged with false reporting and making a false or misleading statement after telling police Sedrick Altheimer had threatened to kill him

Famously Soggy Seattle Sees Its Wettest Fall on Record

Seattle, a city known for soggy weather, has seen its wettest fall on record.

Longtime Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio Won't Seek Reelection

DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history and a staunch advocate for environmental issues, said Wednesday he is retiring

NEWS BRIEFS

SPLC Responds to DOJ Decision to Close Emmett Till Investigation

Yesterday, the Department of Justice closed a reopened investigation into the murder of Emmett Till without filing new charges. ...

Portland Couple to Receive Lowenstein Award

The Lowenstein Trust will present the 2021 Steve Lowenstein Award to Allen and Joy Fowler for their volunteer advocacy efforts on...

Senator James Manning Makes a Stop at The Skanner

Oregon Sen. James Manning stopped by The Skanner News building on Monday to discuss campaign topics. ...

Suspect in Colorado Church Vandalism Sought in Portland

A reward has been established for information that leads to Madeline Ann Cramer's arrest. ...

Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Blumenauer, Joyce, Lee and Young Urge VA to Offer Veterans Access to Lifesaving Cannabis Treatment

“…over twenty veterans continue to die by suicide each day—it is past time we stop barring access from these innovative...

Man sentenced to almost 4 years for trafficking meth

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A man accused of trafficking methamphetamine and was caught with six pounds of drugs at a Puyallup drug deal was sentenced Monday to almost four years in prison. Omar Arellano-Hernandez, 28, will spend 46 months in prison for his drug dealing activity in Western...

Socialist Kshama Sawant faces recall vote in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — A controversial member of the Seattle City Council – firebrand socialist Kshama Sawant – faces a recall election Tuesday one month after voters chose moderate candidates over progressives in the general election. The recall is seen as a further test of whether...

Missouri to face Army's triple option in Armed Forces Bowl

Army (8-3, Independent) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ET LOCATION: Fort Worth, Texas. TOP PLAYERS Army: LB Andre Carter II, 14.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, leads the nation in sacks per game; QB Christian Anderson, 545 yards...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

UN court orders Azerbaijan, Armenia not to aggravate dispute

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Judges at the United Nations’ top court ordered Azerbaijan on Tuesday to protect all the prisoners it captured during the country's war last year with neighboring Armenia, to prevent incitement of racial hatred against Armenians and to punish vandalism of Armenian...

Rohingya sue Facebook for 0B, alleging role in violence

LONDON (AP) — Rohingya refugees sued Facebook parent Meta Platforms for more than 0 billion over what they say was the company's failure to stop hateful posts that incited violence against the Muslim ethnic group by Myanmar's military rulers and their supporters. Lawyers filed a...

China says US diplomatic boycott violates Olympic spirit

BEIJING (AP) — China accused the United States of violating the Olympic spirit on Tuesday after the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games over human rights concerns. Rights groups have pushed for a full-blown boycott of the Games, accusing...

ENTERTAINMENT

Fired CNN anchor Chris Cuomo steps away from SiriusXM show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fired CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said he's dropping his SiriusXM radio show, a decision that followed a sexual harassment allegation. “While I have a thick skin, I also have a family, for whom the past week has been extraordinarily difficult,” Cuomo said in a...

2021's notable moments on TV: Capitol riot, 'Rust,' Shatner

If a year can be accused of bait-and-switch, 2021 is fair game. It was reasonable to believe, or hope, that the pandemic would steadily recede in the rear-view mirror, that a White House transition might mean less political rancor, that America could honorably end its “forever...

Man charged in death of Jacqueline Avant, music icon’s wife

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors filed charges Monday against a 29-year-old man in the fatal shooting of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, the wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, last week at their Beverly Hills home. Aariel Maynor is also charged with the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Whistleblower: As Afghanistan fell, UK abandoned supporters

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Foreign Office abandoned many of the nation’s allies in Afghanistan and left them to...

'Cheugy,' 'omicron' among 2021's most mispronounced words

“Cheugy” is apparently a lot to chew on. Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and Philadelphia...

European drug regulator backs mixing COVID-19 vaccines

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union drug regulator gave its backing Tuesday to mixing different...

Whistleblower: As Afghanistan fell, UK abandoned supporters

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Foreign Office abandoned many of the nation’s allies in Afghanistan and left them to...

Blast levels French building; at least 1 dead, baby found

PARIS (AP) — French rescue workers dug out the body of a man but rescued his baby and the child's mother alive...

Man in Germany suspected of killing 4 relatives and self

BERLIN (AP) — German investigators said Tuesday that a man suspected of killing his family and then himself left...

Michael Martinez CNN

(CNN) -- Shortly after the clock struck midnight, two Seattle women legitimized their 35-year love affair early Thursday by becoming the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in King County, Wash.

The two women met on a blind date in 1977, when homosexuality was highly taboo and gay people socialized privately in homes, never in public.

Now Pete-e Petersen is 85, and Jane Abbott Lighty is 77, and they have lived to see the world transformed.

In the twilight of their lives, they thought they would die without being legally married, though they had a church wedding in 2005. But Washington voters approved Referendum 74, legalizing same-sex marriage, last month, allowing the first licenses to be issued on Thursday.

"Oh, my goodness!" Lighty said. "We've been together 35 years and seen all kinds of change."

"It's been a long journey," Petersen said. "We're so excited to know we'll get a license and then get married on Sunday."

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified Referendum 74 on Wednesday, surrounded by the marriage equality bill's supporters.

"This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington. For many years now, we've said, 'One more step. One more step.' This is our last step," Gregoire said. "To the couples that are here today that will finally be treated with the equality they've deserved for many years, congratulations to each of you."

This year has been historic on many levels for the marriage equality movement.

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. Voters in Minnesota rejected a measure that would have banned same-sex marriage.

Those approvals contrast 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.

With 162 years between them, Petersen and Lighty can recall the dark days of being gay in America.

"Of course, we were in the so-called closet," Petersen said. "Fortunately, we're blessed by nice looks so people didn't know right off the bat we were gay or homosexuals."

They can leverage the unpleasant moments into humor.

For example, Petersen was an Air Force nurse in the Korean War. Stationed in Japan, she flew all kinds of air missions to retrieve wounded troops in Korea and take them to Tokyo -- similar to what television's "M*A*S*H" depicted.

She was eventually promoted to captain in the Air Force and also was put in charge of a clinic in San Antonio, Texas.

During that time, she recalls the military hunts for gay men and women. Military brass never suspected her, she said. Lighty enjoyed the same illusion as a young woman.

"I was fortunate," Petersen said. "We passed.

"People would come up in the hospital, and they were always hunting for gay people," she continued, talking about the military.

Captain, the investigators asked, "Do you have any ... people being gay here?"

"I said, 'Not a one,'" she recalled.

"It was just awful. It was a witch hunt, just really trying to oust people. If a military person, like an airman first class (woman), had short hair or walked like a tough person, they were questioning them and always quizzing them," Petersen said. "I told them to leave them alone."

Still, the couple honor Petersen's five years of military service every November 11.

"Yes," Lighty interjected, "on Veterans Day, I have to stand up very straight and say, 'Ma'am!' all day long."

Petersen added: "She has to say, 'Good morning, captain!' Lots of respect, and that has gone on for 35 years."

On their blind date at 5 p.m. on January 13, 1977, the couple rendezvoused for supper at an old town restaurant in Sacramento, California.

A mutual friend arranged the date.

Lighty cheated that evening: "I stayed in the parking to see what she looked like as she got of the car," she said. "I said she's cute and she's short."

Dinner was a success.

"Boy, we just hit it off," Petersen said.

Two weeks later, they moved in together.

Lighty had earlier been married to a man for two years. Petersen had adopted and was raising her sister's 10-year-old daughter. Their home also had two dogs and a cat.

The couple wondered what they had gotten themselves into.

At the time, Petersen and Lighty were nurses. In fact, Petersen was working in public health nursing, and was California's first nursing home ombudsman for the state Department of Public Health under then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, she said.

By 1986, they had moved to Seattle, where they slowly came out of the closet in the late 1990s.

First, they supported a gay men's choral group called the Seattle Men's Chorus. By the early 2000s, they started a lesbian counterpart, the Seattle Women's Chorus.

In 2005, they announced to the world that they were longtime partners by participating in the documentary "Inlaws & Outlaws," which examines the lives of straight and gay couples.

On Sunday, the couple will marry onstage before the Seattle Men's Chorus and Seattle Women's Chorus at Benaroya Hall, home to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

Two men who have been together for 23 years will also marry onstage, the two women said.

When Petersen and Lighty tie the knot, the Women's Chorus will be singing from "One Hand, One Heart" from "West Side Story."

As they approach the 36-year mark of being a couple, Petersen observed: "We're just blessed with the people we've met and the opportunities we've had."

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