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State Voters Appear Ready to Approve Gay Marriage, Legal Pot

Referendum 74 was winning by a narrow margin with 51.7 percent in favor late Tuesday. Initiative 502, which would legalize pot, pulled ahead by an even larger margin with 55 percent of the vote. What do you think? (See below)

Gay marriage and legal marijuana in Washington state moved closer to reality late Tuesday as ballot returns showed both measures gaining ground as votes were tallied.

I-502 would make small amounts of pot legal for people 21 and older. Referendum 74 -- one of four gay marriage initiatives nationally -- seeks to allow legal same-sex unions statewide. Late Tuesday, R-74 held a slight advantage with 51.7 percent in favor compared to 48.2 percent against.

At an election party in downtown Seattle, Mary Dispenza, 72, of Bellevue said if R-74 passes, she plans to marry her partner of 20 years, Mary Ann. 

"I have had this intuitive feeling that this might just pass," she said, adding that she's watched people's views shift over time as they realize gay people are friends, neighbors and family.

"I just feel that the time is right."

Amber Curnow of Issaquah doesn't see it the same way, even though her sibling is gay. She said that she was opposed to Referendum 74, but was surprised that early returns didn't show landslide support.

"My brother is gay, and I love him and his partner," she said. "But for the family structure to be redefined that way, I'm not ready to do that yet."

Pot legalization backers were pleased I-502 appeared poised to pass as it held firm with 55 percent of the vote. But the measure's conflict with federal drug law remains an open question. 

Lisa Sanderson of West Seattle said she was pleased to see I-502 appear to be passing. "I'm in favor of legalizing marijuana for tax revenue," she said.  

But her friend, Curnow of Issaquah, who is an attorney, is against I-502 on legal grounds, and because of the taxation aspect of it.

"It sets people up," she said. "We're not at a point where the federal law and the state law would be the same -- it sets people up to be in trouble with the feds."

Jeanne Gustafson November 07, 2012 at 06:50 PM
For those interested in definitions, here are some from Merriam-Webster: ho·mo·sex·u·al (adjective \ˌhō-mə-ˈsek-sh(ə-)wəl, -ˈsek-shəl\) Definition of HOMOSEXUAL 1: of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex 2: of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex mar·riage (noun \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\) Definition of MARRIAGE 1a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage> b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage 2 : an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities 3: an intimate or close union <the marriage of painting and poetry — J. T. Shawcross> gay (adjective \ˈgā\) Definition of GAY 1 a : happily excited : merry <in a gay mood> b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits <a bird's gay spring song> 2 a : bright, lively <gay sunny meadows> b : brilliant in color 3 : given to social pleasures; also : licentious 4a : homosexual <gay men> b : of, relating to, or used by homosexuals <the gay rights movement> <a gay bar> Take it as you will.
Tad Saine November 07, 2012 at 06:52 PM
...and it's great that we no longer have to listen to them. the American people have spoken, and we've risen above these people. we've risen above the 'redefinition' argument (one of my personal favorites; quite comical), the procreation argument, and the most hilarious and hypocritical one of them all, the biblical argument.
Jeanne Gustafson November 07, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Words evolve, culture evolves, mores evolve. In 1776, no one here spoke modern "American" English. What pops into your head when you think of "Apple," "Windows," "Web?" Not the original definitions, I expect. For more info on word definitions, check out this interesting TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/erin_mckean_redefines_the_dictionary.html If words and their definitions were static, where would we be? favorite quote: "Lexicography is not rocket science. But even if it were, rocket science is being done by dedicated amateurs these days."
Lisa Baumann November 07, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Washington United for Marriage posted this on Facebook less than an hour ago: "We crunched the numbers last night. Referendum 74 will win. Washington wins."
Gail November 07, 2012 at 09:42 PM
The argument is NOT that words change Jeanne. The argument is that certain changes are not really for the better. All it is doing is making what used to be well understood not well understood. The slow slide into decadence. I'm well aware this is not being understood by many. Apple is the name of a company, not a word definition. No points for that one :)

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