As a part of Pride Foundation’s Why Marriage Matters Washington Education Campaign, we approached Paj Nandi and Mickey Kander to get involved and to share their story. “We were both truly humbled and honored to be asked,” said Mickey, and “the ask actually spawned us to have a deep conversation about our beliefs in the institution of marriage.”
Paj and Mickey aren’t the only ones who have had these conversations. Over the last several months, we have heard this line of inquiry from many community members, leading them to truly ask: why does marriage matter?
Here’s where Paj and Mickey landed: “We are a committed couple, but do not necessarily believe that a government body sanctioning our relationship makes it any more meaningful than it already is…That being said, in our culture, marriage is a privilege afforded to only heterosexuals, and that isn’t right…[we] are firm believers that no one should receive unequal treatment under the law.”
Seayoung Yim, Asian/Pacific Islander community coordinator for the Why Marriage Matters Washington campaign, hosted a ‘speaker’s bureau’ training to work with Paj and Mickey and many others to develop their stories in support of the freedom to marry.
After the training, Paj and Mickey hosted a storytelling happy hour for the Asian/Pacific Islander community. “During this event, there was an intergenerational conversation,” said Seayoung. She reflected, “Paj and Mickey were determined to share their story with sincerity and authenticity, which is so important in this work…the storytelling hour helped to do that, and we are so grateful to Paj and Mickey for opening their home and space in more ways than one.”
The Why Marriage Matters Washington campaign has engaged hundreds of families, including those in communities of color and faith communities. Through equipping supporters with the tools they need to share their stories, we are building a stronger public education campaign about the freedom to marry in Washington. On our way to a hopeful win at the ballot, we are winning many rich conversations, asking questions, and sharing stories of inspiration.