Guest writer Jennifer Mannix is a member of Pride Foundation’s Leadership Action Team in Alaska.
When the law passed early this year to allow same-sex marriage in Washington, my partner Kris and I started to plan our summer wedding. We’d wanted to get married for some time now, but our families are on the west coast, so we wanted to wait until it could happen close to them. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a little longer to get married as the law has been put to a referendum at the ballot in November.
I never used to think about getting married because I didn’t think it would be possible in my lifetime. Since meeting Kris and figuring out she is “The One,” I have attended weddings for three of my closest friends–who happen to be heterosexual. Each time I have felt very strong mixed feelings, being very happy for them while feeling like society really isn’t giving us (LGBTQ people) a fair deal. It would mean so much to Kris and me to stand up in front of our friends and family, say our vows, and actually be married.
I am thrilled that Pride Foundation is assisting in the fight for marriage equality in Washington through the Washington United for Marriage coalition. I have lived in Juneau, Alaska for 23 years now. I love Washington, and consider Seattle “my city.” I am always passing through; I have friends and family there, and it is near and dear to my heart.
Juneau is a wonderful little progressive pocket within the very conservative Alaska. Kris and I are raising our 11-year-old daughter Nicole, along with Nicole’s other mom, in a great place. But when I try to explain to Nicole why we can’t get married, I realize how far our community, state, and country still need to come. I think Alaska will be one of the stragglers in this movement, so I am putting a lot of my hope and faith into the people of Washington to do the right thing.
Alaskans interested in helping to defend marriage equality in Washington can sign up to join Jennifer for the Alaska Virtual Phone Bank night on August 13 or donate to the Washington Marriage For All Education Fund.
Tiffany is Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Alaska. Email Tiffany.