Gay marriage vote: Cake makers prep, Starbucks threatened, Hell promised and joy

Feb 2, 2012

A survey of this morning’s reactions to the Washington state Senate vote last night to approve same-sex marriage netted the full range of threats, promises and celebrations … but also this from one Twitter user chasingray:

“That sound you hear is florists & bakers cheering like mad thruout Seattle. The #gaymarriage bill just passed the Senate.“

The heavy-hitting Seattle Times opined that this was a proud moment for the state:

“WASHINGTONIANS should pause, reflect and feel good about the state Senate's commanding 28-21 vote to legalize same-sex marriage. Final passage did not come easily. It took years of hard work and careful, incremental politicking along the way.”

While others in the op-ed world rung their hands a bit more. One Northwest writer for The Examiner.com who calls himself “Seattle Multi-Faith Examiner” was circumspect about his actual feelings but wanted to warn us of the coming divisiveness over gay marriage.

Timothy Berman, wrote:

“… whether one views this as a victory of for equality or a battle of morality, the reality is that our society is changing with these new public policies being enacted into law. How we personally decide to accept or reject such things will continue to divide us even further.”

God-haters

And, in the spirit of divisiveness, a Christian pastor reflected on how if a church continues to serve Starbucks coffee – one of more than 100 companies that pledged support for the marriage bill – the leaders of that church are “God-haters.” KING 5 has the story:

In a message published online a day before Washington's Senate passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, Pastor Steven Andrew of USA Christian Ministries predicted that the Seattle-based coffee giant could lose 80 percent of its customers if Christians get their coffee somewhere …

“Starbucks is no longer fashionable,” writes Andrew in the post, which is headlined "Christians Boycott Starbucks – Because Romans 1 Explains Starbucks Hates God. … If your church still uses Starbucks, then your pastor is a friend of the world," Andrews argues. "God calls those who oppose Him ‘haters of God.’”

A more subtle perspective

Another religious person opined, however, that God might be taking a different look at humans because of the vote. Crystal Neva, director of Lifelong Learning at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, wrote in The Bellingham Herald:

“As a religious-education professional in my faith community, I know that human beings have a long history of invoking and distorting the word of God to promote injustices including war, terrorism and racial inequality. It seems to me that if we are to understand God at all, it will be by embodying love, understanding and peace.”

“More to the point, however, I believe that at the heart of this dilemma, we are really addressing the issue of inalienable human rights - the rights of people who are expected to uphold their responsibilities as citizens, and who deserve the benefits and protections that are guaranteed in turn.”

(Video: Buoyant gay couples cheered by supporters began marrying Sunday across New York on the landmark day it became the sixth and largest state to recognize same-sex weddings.)

All by herself, mostly

It was apparently a little lonely out front of the Capitol in Olympia for those pushing for a no-vote on the Senate measure. The Huffington Post writes that Gay marriage opponent Jane Sterland, 56, stood outside the Senate gallery before the debate started. Sterland said she was disappointed by the light turnout of same-sex marriage foes.

"It saddens me that there aren't more Christians here tonight," she said. "I'm just very grieved about this whole thing. I want to be here for prayer support against this issue."

Feeling the love

And, while not known for sentimentality, The Stranger’s writer covering the vote reflected that “last night's wonderful, heartfelt gay marriage vote speeches,”  provided him with a better understanding of our representatives in Olympia:

“I now know that our state senators include:

  •  a son of a gay man
  • a woman in an interracial marriage
  • a majority leader whose sister is in a big gay relationship
  • a straight Republican who thinks gay marriage is conservative
  • a conservative Democrat who loves his gay army buddies so much that he'll vote against the will of his district for them
  • a gay Roman Catholic in an LTR without children
  • and a straight pot activist who can't figure out how the gays could possibly hurt her marriage

"I love sharing time in the state senate!”