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The reasons to support Referendum 74 | Editorial

Admitting that your view on a particular subject matter may have been wrong is never an easy thing.

Typically, deep down inside you know you have been on the wrong side of an issue or argument for a long time before you will actually admit it to yourself or publicly vocalize it to friends, family or fellow community members.

My upbringing was pretty average and typical. My parents were not hard core when it came to religion despite the fact that they did send me to a private Catholic school for three years. That decision had a lot more to do with the available public education choices in our area and less to do with religion. Now my grandparents on my mom’s side that was another matter entirely. Diligent Catholics who followed church practices in church but as was typical of that generation seemed disconnected from most of the day to day practices of patience, forgiveness and tolerance at home.

During the decade of excess, which was the 1980’s, I lost a cousin who was still in his 20’s to AIDS. It really was an awful time of fear and intolerance for individuals who were stereotyped for being associated with this disease. I simply remember that the adult members of my family did not talk about homosexuality much or if they did it was simply a whispered post script that was forever associated with my cousin’s passing.

For a very long time I simply accepted the positions of many members of my family as my own positions. I also accepted the positions of the political party I was raised in and came to associate myself with without question. If they were against something than I was against it. If they were for something I was for it.

Thank goodness that all of that has changed over the years. It changed because I became a parent myself. It changed because I began to question and withdraw from certain blind political party associations and most importantly it changed because I was given another set of role models to guide me. These role models came and went from my life over a series of years. They showed me love and relationship commitment. They were my co-workers, my extended family members, my friends and my fellow citizens. They were gay and lesbian. They were same sex couples. They were also parents and community members who love this area as much as I do and who deserve the same amount of legal and respected relationship status as I have with my nearly 20 years of marriage to my husband Jason.

Everyone should have the right to marry who they love.

I rarely write specifically about political issues that I have taken a personal stand on. I tend to keep this column more about general community issues that a wide audience can relate to. However a recent conversation with someone that I respect whose decision is guided more by faith than practical application had me reassessing what I was doing, how I would vote and what I would say. It made me consider that keeping silent was just the easy way out. That same easy way out that had me blindly accepting the social positions of others as my own for far too long.

Before us now is Referendum 74. I will be voting YES in support of this Referendum. For me this is less about the political football that many of these impactive social issues have become from the left and the right and more about the individual rights and happiness of all the members of my Bremerton community.

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