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Shoreline Council Votes to Support Referendum 74 for Gay Marriage and Gay Families

Council votes 6-0 to support marriage equality; Do you agree? Should the Council have taken a stand on this? Tell us in the comments.

Kate Beck of Shoreline is in a committed lesbian relationship with her partner and they have two children, including her son who will start kindergarten at Meridan Park Elementary School.

On Tuesday night, Beck spoke out in favor of Referendum 74 which would allow gay marriage to be legally recognized in the state of Washington at the Shoreline City Council meeting.

She talked about the importance of having her union recognized for the rights it ensures her family but also for the understanding it would engender on the playground when she is talking to other moms. When it comes time to introduce her partner, the person she loves and hopes to grow old with, she doesn't want to pause and hestitate.

"For me marriage equality is about words and playground understanding," she said.

Mayor Keith McGlashan, who is openly gay and single, pointed out that the 2010 Census shows that more and more gay couples are moving from big cities like Seattle in suburbs like Shoreline. He also noted his work on the issue as a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Local Officals Committee with the National League of Cities and the fact gay marriage is part of the Democratic Party platform this year.

"I didn't think this would happen in my lifetime," he said.

The Council voted 6-0, with Councilmember Chris Roberts excused to be at the Democratic National Convention, to support Referendum 74.

All the Councilmembers spoke out, some very emotionally about their support for the referendum.

Councilmember Doris McConnell said she has gay relatives and mentioned the hardship of being in the closet and said supporting the referendum to relieve some of that presure.

McConnell stated she is a deeply religious person and supporting gay marriage was a "no-brainer."

Councilmember Chris Eggen said when he was in the Air Force during the 1960s and was stationed in Alaska, a military member there was outed and ostracized and harrassed for the entire year the man was there.

"I did not like it then and I do not like it now," Eggen said, choking up.

Arthur Allen, who grew up in Mukilteo, and now serves in the Merchant Marine said the fact Washington is willing to support gay marriage is "an encouraging sign of respect."

He said when he came out to his fellow sailors, it gave him an opportunity to help others struggling with expectations of masculinity, and legalizing gay marriage allows, "the highest expression of love between men."

Bryan September 06, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I think the council has become nothing but a bunch of reactionary idiots. I knew I didn't really care for them. I think the make-up of who comprises the board has slid down hill drastically. They do not respect property rights ( Aurora Square being an example ) and now this nonsense. "Councilmember Doris McConnell said she has gay relatives and mentioned the hardship of being in the closet and said supporting the referendum to relieve some of that pressure." Really, Doris? It's that simple? I certainly don't think so. It's a heck of a lot more complex than a few anecdotal stories. "McConnell stated she is a deeply religious person and supporting gay marriage was a no-brainer." And others who are equally or more religious, particularly some Christians, may come to an altogether different conclusion. Doris never mentions what religion she is. "Councilmember Chris Eggen said when he was in the Air Force during the 1960s and was stationed in Alaska, a military member there was outed and ostracized and harrassed for the entire year the man was there." You mean they allowed a gay man to continue to serve for one year? Or is Chris rewriting history? I think perhaps he is. Besides Gay marriage is not going to change any of that. I guess my biggest problem with the whole idea of Gay marriage is that I do not think gay people should be raising kids. I could care less what to gay people do but to involve children is not right.
Bryan September 06, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Growing up in a neighborhood with fatherless boys, you see an absolute impact on delinquency. Even the huge problem of black make crime ( that we are not supposed to talk about in polite society ) has been linked to boys without fathers or a strong male role model. I know of boys who have longed for a father and it is a source of distress in many young boys lives. And now we are going to let boys be raised by two lesbians? Have we lost our minds? Well I already know the answer to that!!!!
Tony Dondero (Editor) September 06, 2012 at 08:59 AM
Bryan, You are entitled to your opinion. Let me ask you this, what would you do if you had a friend, relative or son or daughter who happened to be gay? How would you react? By the way, the Councilmembers comments in the story are paraphrased not verbatim, and are certainly are a snapshot not the be all and end all of this issue. I am not a parent, but I am sure is it is a very important and challenging job to say the least and would hesitate to tell anyone they can't take on that responsibility because of their sexual identity rather than their ability to care for children. I doubt any subgroup of humanity has all the answers on how to parent or lacks all the answers on how to parent. I would think most parents are a work in progress.
Bryan September 06, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Tony, I of course know gay people. Doesn't everyone? How can you live in the Seattle area and not know a gay person. The idea that I have a certain opinion because either I lack compassion or don't know someone who is gay is an out an out myth. Regarding my opinion of gay people raising children, I can only speak from my experiences. I spent a lot of years growing up with troubled kids and it was pretty obvious that there was a common denominator and it went back to the family structure. It was amazing how many problem children came from broken homes without a father or if the father was there he was either a drunk or very distant (or the parent just set a bad example all together ) Some of the less common beheaviors that I noticed years ago are more the norm now ( so they probably go less noticed today ). This I believe comes down to a few factors but not having a traditional family structure is a large part of it. Lacking a traditional family structure is so common today. I know that some people will go to all out war to erase this thought from our heads but any thinking person who faces reality can see it clearly. This is not to imply that there are not situations that break the rule but the exceptions prove the rule. In the end, It's not about one's ability to care for children. It's about the needs of the child and sorry to say it is not ideal for a child to be raised by two same sex partners. As a boy, I cannot imagine having two mommies and no dad.
Armand Micheline September 06, 2012 at 05:45 PM
First, I would like to applaud Shoreline for being so progressive! I've read the comments by Bryan, and I have to disagree... While it certainly is advantageous to a child to have 2 parents, I disagree on the need for it to be a man and woman... The most important thing for any child is to live in a home where there is love, support, and unconditional love. Regardless of the parents genders, the most important thing is the structure and love that is created in the home. Social Service reports can support this allegation that gender is not the primary issue. Honestly Bryan, how many homes do you know of that aren't broken? There are so few couples today who seem to be raising their children with an intact home, I can't see where you get your information. I grew up with a Mom and Dad, and after 24 years that went kaput. I can tell you it wasn't ideal...and I would have been better served by two parents who loved each other and their children rather than the war zone I grew up in... I don't think gender is as important as love and commitment which shows the children what an ideal RELATIONSHIP is about... This is what we seem to no longer teach our kids...how to have successful relationships regardless of whom you love.
Tony Dondero (Editor) September 06, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Bryan, The bottom line is that its legal in the state of Washington for gay people to have kids. That's not going to change. Whether you agree to support that or not is up to you. The examples you point to about absentee fathers appear to have nothing to do with those fathers being gay. You pointed to behavior, not the sexual orientation of those parents in the broken homes. Based on the points you made above, you might conclude because some heterosexual fathers don't make good fathers, that you should deny heterosexual men across the board the right to be parents. That doesn't make any sense to me.
Bryan September 06, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Obviously I am not that progessive. I think as time goes on, it will become obvious that the progessives will have been the root of the downfall of this once great county. Not that I am saying that the county didn't have it's problems. However, progressives want to throw out the entire culture, way of living, and everything else to replace it with something more to their liking. Mark my words, this will result in the decline of western society. That all being stated, addressing Tony's last comment, it fails to address the key issue. The problem with the heterosexual father is that it is the father's behavior that is the deciding factor not his sex. Two lesbians just don't make a good father no matter how much love they can offer. There were lots of boys that I knew who were raised with awesome mothers but the lack of a good father figure resulted it lots of issues in the boy's teen age years. Armand mentions statistics from social services but there is plenty of contrary statistics out there that say exactly the opposite. You have to read both and come to your own conclusion. I have done that. Armand also mentions how few homes that are out there that are not broken. Armand is actually correct. There are not many any more. If there were, people would see the ideal and realize the absurdity of two gay parents. Obviously, the gay parent issue is just one example of a larger problem that we have with our inability to raise the next generation.
Bryan September 06, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Tony wrote: "The bottom line is that its legal in the state of Washington for gay people to have kids. That's not going to change. Whether you agree to support that or not is up to you". Why, isn't it? Progressives make things their business all the time and take away personal choice. Matter of fact, the only time they are all out for personal choice is if it is something that degrades the founding culture that they hate so much. That being said, my opinions are directed at those who seem to think that the whole gay agenda ( raising kids in particular ) is a positive thing that they should be fighting for and they do not think that there could ever be any negative social implications. I feel that they are wrong! Whether it should be prohibited legally is another discussion.
Tony Dondero (Editor) September 06, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Degrades the founding culture? Negative social implications? For whom, Bryan? The founding culture is not set is stone. It adapts. The founding culture denied women the right to vote. The founding culture enslaved blacks. This is a democracy in theory where people through the right to vote can add and subtract what is allowed legally and the culture changes or more likely the culture changes and the laws follow. Laws in this country denied certain groups, citizenship, the right to own property, including my great-grandparents. Fortunately, they've changed. Bryan, you seem to have hard time accepting change. You make it sound like everything was great in the late 1700s and its been downhill ever since. Interracial marriage was technically illegal until 1967 when Loving vs. Virginia was decided by the Supreme Court. That wasn't that long ago. By the way, don't assume that I'm out to "take away personal choice." Personally, I don't see the point of the average citizen having easy access to an AR-15 or AK-47 like have been used in recent mass shootings, but generally I'm not against the second amendment. I don't think because I favor some change, I'm out to destroy the existing culture. Frankly, technology, such as cellphones, the Internet, and Facebook has changed the culture more than gay marriage. The majority of people are using those technologies now versus 20 years ago when they weren't. Gays are a minority, maybe 10 percent of the population at best.
Mother of Two September 07, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Bryan et al--Great to see that Shoreline has adopted such a progressive stance and supports ALL families. It's great to have two parents (of any sex) that LOVE and care for their kids. If you don't like gay marriage, don't enter into one, it's that easy! But individuals have the right to marry a person of either sex. What's it to you, personally? I'd imagine that most gay people don't care who YOU marry, so why do you care who THEY marry? Regarding the "black male" issue and delinquents...have you ever thought about WHY "black males" aren't around? Have you ever heard of racism, of unfair prison terms, etc? Life is so much more complicated than you appear to understand. In this case, if a child has two parents that love, support, and care for him/her, then so be it. Signed, A Married Mother of Two
Bryan September 07, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Hi Tony, of course you are correct in the examples you give regarding some of the negative history. I was alluding to some of those type of things when I said that it was not perfect. However, to be perfectly fair the founding culture never out and out approved of slavery. Yes, it was tolerated. However, from the outset large factions of the country, primarily certain Christian groups wanted it outlawed at the very start of the country and many sermons were spoken that warned about God's judgment on the nation if slavery was allowed to continue. I only bring this up because so many progressives think that hateful Christians were responsible for slavery and that is not true. I saw a statistic once that non Christians in the county were overwhelmingly more likely to have owned slaves than their Christian neighbors. Let's not forget, most Americans did not own slaves. There were quite a few slaves but not a as many slave owners. There were restrictions on who could be come a citizen. Absolutely. The whole world wanted to come to America. A nation has a right to protect itself from foreign cultures and to maintain it's own. The problem in the U.S. was the struggle of how can we be compassionate and let in immigrants but still protect the culture. It's a complicated situation. Mass immigration has certainly impacted the culture. Contrary to popular belief the largest deciding factor in one's political leanings is decided by religion and culture not economics.
pflagmom September 07, 2012 at 01:14 AM
I'm so proud of Shoreline!!! the place I grew up. I can assure those who fear gays that they shouldn't. I can assure them that the studies of gay families, those that really studied children raised in two parent gay households, show they are doing just fine. It is the quality of the parents that matter and the love they give to their kids. The children of gay couples are never unwanted. Gay couples often adopt the kids of straight people who, for whatever reason, can't parent them. Isn't it better to have two parents than be bounced around in foster care costing the state money? I guess you'd have to get to know some of these gay couples raising children to change your mind and hope those who doubt their parenting skills will get to know some. It sure isn't like the children of gay kids grow up in some vacuum with no role models of the opposite sex. I wonder if those who doubt me don't actually still believe that children can be influenced by parents to be gay. They can't. If going without a father made boys gay, then after every World War in every country, children who had fathers away at war or whose fathers never came home, would have had a higher incidence of being gay. No such thing happened. Two men can and do raise perfectly fine daughters and two women wonderful sons. If you doubt it, read Zach Wahls book, My Two Moms.
Bryan September 07, 2012 at 01:36 AM
What a bunch of misinformation when you talk down to people as if they were idiots because they think that gay parent raise gay children. What about the study by Walter Schumm reported by Aol news . http://www.aolnews.com/2010/10/17/study-gay-parents-more-likely-to-have-gay-kids/ This would indicate that gay people are more likely to raise gay children. I am not saying that his is the only study or that he is even correct but let's not dismiss the idea .
Bryan September 07, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Dear Mother of two, I think I have heard of all those things and while those things that you mention do happen I doubt if they are as widespread as to account for the larger problem. But at least we can agree that back males are fatherless a lot of the time and this I conclude is the reason that this generation of black males is having problems with delinquency.
Mother of Two September 07, 2012 at 03:19 PM
And aolnews is such a reputable source! That's like saying that FOX is quality news as well. Not so much.
Bryan September 07, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Okay Mother of two (Ostriches? ) with her head in the sand. So, it's the old "when you are not able to refute the information itself , just attack the source" leftist tactic. The information presented seemed well documented. If you have something else to offer in the way of documented studies, I am happy to read them. Right now you haven't provided anything mopre than your personal opinion which really doesn't mean much.
Mother of Two September 07, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Two children, thank you very much. Personal opinion makes the world go 'round. To each his/her own. Have a good one.
Mother of Two September 07, 2012 at 05:49 PM
PS http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec05/kids.aspx
Bryan September 07, 2012 at 07:11 PM
I appreciate the study. I can send over contrary information from other studies that come to a different conclusion. It's good to compare both to see what differing factors are involved that are the cause of differing conclusions. However, the original link that I included was regarding Gay who are more likely to raise gay children. The study even addressed the other studies that did not come to the same conclusion and as to why that was. It will be interesting to compare the studies done regarding "well adjusted" gay kids. The one factor that comes to mind is that the subjects used as "traditional families" do not fit the same standard that would have been used years ago. As I mentioned earlier, there are so many negative factors impacting the well being of families today that there are few families who truly do qualify as "traditional families" under the original concept.

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