In 2012, Washington legalized marriage for same-sex couples via an initiative at the ballot box. That victory was the result of decades of advocacy, both within the courts and the legislature.
But the referendum itself was the result of a challenge from opponents, who had hoped to overturn the legislature’s passage of a law ensuring marriage equality.
Today, this feels a bit like deja vu. Opponents of equality are again pushing a ballot initiative—I-1552—that would roll back legislation that has, for 11 years, protected our transgender friends and family from discrimination. And LGBT couples like Ken and Eric Gamboa, who are today celebrating marriage equality, aren’t standing for it.
Ken and Eric have been proud Washington residents since 2011, and in 2013 the pair were overjoyed to be able to marry in the state they love.
On June 26th, 2015, when the Supreme Court decided Obergefell, Ken and Eric were, ironically, attending a wedding of two dear friends and allies who took the time to congratulate them.
“It was definitely a special moment and one we will never forget,” Ken says.
On the second anniversary of nationwide marriage equality, Ken and Eric are gearing up for another important referendum: I-1552. Although in this case, the referendum would repeal non-discrimination protections for transgender Washingtonians, dealing a major blow to the progress LGBT Washingtonians have made.
“The support and protection of the LGBTQ community is the reason we have chosen to live, work and start a family in this great state and why Washington needs to be the first state to reject this anti-trans ballot measure.” —Ken Gamboa
“We are committed to fighting against I-1552 because discrimination against our transgender neighbors, family and friends should not be tolerated—ever,” Ken says, noting that this attack on transgender Washingtonians is an attack on the entire LGBT community, and would make them feel less welcome in the state they call home.
“The support and protection of the LGBTQ community is the reason we have chosen to live, work and start a family in this great state and why Washington needs to be the first state to reject this anti-trans ballot measure,” Ken says.