What does the Supreme Court’s historic ruling striking down
Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) mean
to married couples in Kitsap County? It was a huge step
forward towards equality for same-sex couples and their families,
with far reaching effects – from income taxes to immigration.
There are over a thousand federal benefits now available to
married couples in states that recognize their marriages, like here
in Washington. Couples in states that do not recognize their
marriage will only have some of the federal benefits, and that part
is a little more confusing.
The Lambda Legal website had more information about the decision
and what it means.
In addition, many folks in Kitsap County are federal employees, so
the US Supreme Court decision to strike down the part of the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that prevented federal recognition
of married same-sex couples opens up employee benefits previously
only available to heterosexual married couples. The Office of
Personnel Management (OPM) was swift to put into place an open
enrollment period for any couples already married.
Here is a link to more information:
A group diverse in age and religious affiliation gathered on
Tuesday evening at the Library in Poulsbo to talk about the
importance of marriage equality and “standing on the side of
Much of the discussion was around religion, even though it is
the legal aspects of marriage that are likely on the line in
November. One of the people who spoke was Washington State
Representative Drew Hansen (23rd Legislative District). As a
self-proclaimed devout Christian, he eloquently conveyed why what
he sees in the Bible shows him that Christians should support
While there was a predominance of Unitarian Universalists
attending, many Christian denominations were represented as
Also speaking was a young couple from Bremerton, one of which is
a U.S. Navy Sailor, who both shared how heartening it was to see such a
supportive group assembled. This couple is an excellent
example of why marriage equality is important – One of them is
fighting for the rights of all of us, the other is his supporter at
home, yet they are denied equal access to the right to legally
marry the person they love.
Two representatives of Washington United for Marriage explained
how they are gearing up for the fight to approve Referendum 74 if
it ends up on the ballot in November as expected. For
supporters of marriage equality there are many ways to help and
information is available on their webpage: http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/
Also, look for them at community events around the state over the
next few months.
United for Marriage and the North Kitsap Unitarian Universalist
Church sponsored the Marriage Equality Town Hall.
Standing on the Side of
Love is a Unitarian Universalist Association sponsored public
advocacy campaign that seeks to harness love’s power to stop