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Friday, November 16, 2012

One Eastern WA County Isn't Mostly Bigots

Posted by on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 1:21 PM

"I tried calling but I guess you are on the phone," State Representative Jamie Pedersen wrote in an e-mail yesterday while I was totally on the phone. "Just wanted to make sure you saw the happy news that Whitman County (yes, in Eastern WA, home of WSU) has flipped into the APPROVE column on R-74!"

And holy bigot-free shit! The late ballot returns, according to the Secretary of State's Office, show that Whitman County—way out in the Palouse—has a majority of voters supporting marriage equality:


Credit here goes to the Cougs! (Is that what the kids call them, Cougs?) "Together with Skagit County, which flipped yesterday, there are now 10 counties voting to approve," Pedersen kvelled. (That map is still totally depressing, because it shows 29 counties still opposing marriage equality.) But Pedersen continued, "And—not that anyone is counting—Washington now has a full percentage point larger spread than any of the other states that approved marriage." In other words, even though media outlets called Maryland and Maine votes for marriage equality on Election Day, they didn't call Washington State until much later—and now we're approving gay marriage by the widest margin.

Despite most of bigoted Eastern Washington.

Here's the thing: Voters of these Republican rural counties complain that they're not getting enough money, they complain about dwindling populations, they complain that cities don't care about them. Well here's an idea: How about you stop persecuting gay couples? Maybe gay people will stop fleeing your bigoted shithole counties for the cities, and then you can even, like, collect money by issuing more marriage licenses to gay couples.


Comments (41) RSS

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Karlheinz Arschbomber 1
Nasty urban & educated creeps, totally Unamerican, fighting God and free enterprise.

--Paul Ryan, defeated VP candidate, world-class asshole
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on November 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
Proud, patriotic Americans, standing for Freedom, Justice, and the American multi-cultural adaptive Way of Life.

--everyone else
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 16, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
Gordon Werner 3
I think a big thanks IS owed, however, to those who live in other Eastern Washington counties who DID vote to approve R74 ...
Posted by Gordon Werner on November 16, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
wisepunk 4
It doesn't matter if you are ghey or straight, just get the fuck out of eWA as fast as you can. I did, and it was the best decision I have ever made.
Posted by wisepunk on November 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 5
@3) You're right, and I should have said that in the post. We couldn't have done this without 'em.
Posted by Dominic Holden on November 16, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 6

Pretty soon there won't be any reason to promote urban density, as all countries will be gay-friendly.

Why pile up in South Lake Union, when there's a whole state waiting for you?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on November 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
If we voted on allowing people of different races to marry, the map would probably look the same.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 16, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Following up on @3, it would be interested to see how many "minority votes" FOR R74 were cast in E. Washington - I would guess that those votes, taken together, were greater than the statewide difference. So yes, thank you.
Posted by Jude Fawley on November 16, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
Or maybe a feature article about they type of people who voted to approve R74 from way out in Ferry or Franklin Counties? I think that would be pretty interesting.
Posted by Jude Fawley on November 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 10
Keep in mind, folks, a lot of those yellow counties are around 50k voters. Some don't even have 10k. There should be an altered map that shows the size relative to the population voting. Western WA & King especially would be huge, w/ a bunch of flea-sized areas clinging on.…
(I love this site)
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on November 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Report this
That is a great site @10! I just did a quick count and I was right - the difference in the statewide count was 194,171.

The number of yes votes in counties that, overall, rejected R74 was 569,643.

I'm really curious about the 360 people in Garfield Co. who voted to approve the referendum.
Posted by Jude Fawley on November 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
One thing to keep in mind is that at a minimum one in three people in ALL eastern WA counties voted for equality. That's huge compared to the past and the measure would not have passed if not for those one in three RURAL voters. So big thank you to all the 33% (0r higher) of you who aren't haters and who did vote for equality.
Posted by hifiandrew on November 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
@10 + @11: It is fascinating, isn't it? I mean, you look at a number of those counties with less than 10,000 votes cast - some even with 2-3,000 total. And yet, they take up a vast "space" on the map.

Thank goodness we don't vote by square footage!
Posted by MLM on November 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
Mattini 14
@7 That's overly cynical. The fact that an Eastern WA county voted in favor of marriage equality is a sign of progress. Republicans had to drop segregation as a part of their platform, and they're eventually going to have to drop discrimination against gays as well.
Posted by Mattini on November 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
DOUG. 15
What's up with Walla Walla County? I thought that was just college kids and wineries. They should totally be pro-gay.
Posted by DOUG. on November 16, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Why doesn't Pierce County belong to the good-guys club? It's kind of mind blowing that Whitman County is a more tolerant place than Pierce County.
Posted by shotsix on November 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
I'm a Seattle native born n' raised there but for the last few years I've been living/surviving in the Yakima area helping out my elderly parents. Yes it's mostly conservative here but not overwhelmingly so. Last time I checked 31,000 voted in favor of R-74 in Yakima County, Myself being one and yes even my 90yo father & 91yo Mother !!! They taught me to never judge others especially my Dad a WWII vet who saw some horrible sights in the South Pacific & Nagasaki. I can't recall a time of being so proud of the state I live in, not only being the 1st west coast state (with the exeption of the CA injustice) to approve Marrage for ALL but to be one of the 1st states to end the insane (in part) war on drugs, take that Mr. Nixon! It was a good day and the beginning of a long road ahead to bring this country into the 21st century!
Posted by poptartpunk on November 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
beatgrl 18
Aah, an island in what Brian Johnson of KOMO called a "Sea of Reject" back on election night.
Posted by beatgrl on November 16, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Simone 19
@15, Walla Walla also has onions.
Posted by Simone on November 16, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 20
hey, what ever happened to the initiative to force Walla Walla to only use one Walla, anyway?
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM · Report this
Mark in Colorado 21
I'm so damn glad you all proved me wrong and made me look like the utter asshole that I can be!!!!

And yes, without those approve votes in the counties that are rejecting R-74, you would not have passed it. It's fucking heartwarming to know that not everyone in rural Washington is a bigot. Our straight allies are so very important as you've all so eloquently acknowledged.

I'm so so glad I was wrong and you all were right!!!
Posted by Mark in Colorado on November 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
Straight lady from Benton County, here. I phone banked, door belled, and donated money for marriage equality because, duh. And I was involved in getting a school district to change it's LGBT club policy. 37% of people in Benton voted to approve 74. Most east side counties also had about 1/3 of their residents vote against bigotry. We're a minority over here, and 74 wouldn't have passed without us. Don't lump us all together with the bigots.
Posted by EFB on November 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM · Report this
@22 Thank you, thank you, thank you! Eastern WA is Very beautiful! Yes, it took votes from ALL 39 counties to pass R-74! Thank you!
Posted by pat L on November 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this
@10 results/current (I love this site)

I'd love it a lot more if it did some sort of color gradient for county results, instead of flipping at 50%+. It's interesting to see which counties went which way, but it would be far better to tell how strongly each county went from the map view (I know about the bar chart, I am complaining about presentation).

Posted by Add Bigot Concentration To The Map View, Sam on November 16, 2012 at 5:51 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 25
@16 - Well, Pierce county was at least close: one percentage point difference between approved/rejected. Blame it on Puyallup.
Posted by Free Lunch on November 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 26
Your approach is contrary to what the bigoted counties both want and need.

People fear whom they do not know. The majority of homophobic bigots do not think they know any gay people. This is why they can sustain such crazy ideas as to what gay people are like, since knowing an actual out gay person that contradicts their mental image of gay would destroy that very impression.

The bigoted (not entirely Eastern, btw-R74 failed in several West of the Cascades counties too) counties want gay people to flee, so telling them that being more bigoted will cause gays to flee will not discourage bigotry. the bigoted counties need to have more, not less, contact with gays if they are to become less bigoted. The way to ensure that R74 is never overturned in WA by popular vote is to bring more gays into the bigoted counties.

The antidote to hate is love. Bigotry is a tumor that grows if you attack it directly. To defeat ken Hutcherson, we must not do the visceral thing. We must instead show his congregants just how wonderful we really are.

Do beautiful acts of gay. Set up soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Befriend the lonely. Take in the stray. Be loving, and hopeful, and generous and kind. In time, others will see that its not an act, its not just some gimmick. And when they do, they will become your fiercest ally. The balm that cures homophobia is soothing, calming, healing. So be those things, and become the cure. And do not hide that cure from the East. Spread it all over this fine state, by moving to Garfield and Mason and Benton and Yakima. Heal this wound that divides us as a state.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on November 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM · Report this
kim in portland 27
I just wanted to say that I'm so proud of our neighbors in Clark county 87,315 (47.33%) voted to approve. They made every donation, phone bank, and canvassing effort worth it.
Posted by kim in portland on November 16, 2012 at 7:38 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 28
#26 you missed one VITAL point in an otherwise lovely argument. And do you know what that one little factor is? It matters HUGELY. It is Religion. Gay people could save ALL the puppies and kittens. Feed all the left handed red headed bastard children, feed ALL the foodless, house ALL the homeless, Lift up ALL the down fallen and STILL they would be Gay and in the eyes of Rev. Hutch be unworthy of equality. In their mind Good deeds do not wash away being "evil" and "doing evil". One must spend time with these people to really know that no amount of good deeds will undo one little "flaw" of being Gay. That is how they believe. It is not based in reality it is based in faith.

Now come here and let me hug you deeply into my ample bosom.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on November 16, 2012 at 8:15 PM · Report this
read this on publicola this morning. no 'hat tip'? bad form!
Posted by ian on November 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 30

Its a very human thing to attribute so much of our mental attitude to our conscious minds. We like to think that logical arguments presented to us in philosophy class or sacred texts or the like have an over-riding impact on our psyche, and I suppose on a surface level they do. But there is something much deeper, more primal, than religion or ideology.

Evolutionary biologists tell us that the preforntal cortex was the part of our brains that evolved last. This is the part that governs logic and thought processes, the conscious mind. The limbic system is far more ancient, and it is responsible for our ability to feel emotions, This is why creatures with simpler brains such as our pets can still feel love and fear and jealously and depression and joy and contentment.

And its also why we respond viscerally to things our conscious minds attempt to block out. Why does PTSD exist, when the logical mind can be taken over my ideologues or jingoism? Because on a deep, visceral level, we all know that killing is wrong. You cannot enter a bloodbath without your limbic system informing you that all your anthems and nationalism are so much bullshit.

As part of a more positive cycle, our limbic system also reinforces love, and that love can over-ride ideologies of hate if that live is powerful enough. Ghandi defeated the mightiest nation on Earth without firing one shot. Dr King started an avalanche that buried Jim Crow, an avalanche created by the echo of his voice rather than dynamite. Vaclav Havel and Lech Walensa ended totalitarian regimes even the mighty USA could not defeat in combat, and no atom bomb could frighten out of existence.

If one skinny old man in a loincloth can face down the British Army, then I think we can muster the courage to stand up to the Hutch. And we will win, though we are small in number, because we are creative, loving, kind and beautiful. We will win because we have the courage not to hate those who hate us.

If you have ever suffered, then you have a natural compassion for the suffering. If you have ever been marginalized, you know what it is like to live on the margins. If you have ever gone hungry, you know how sweet it tastes when a stranger gives you food. And if you have ever been abandoned, be it by your family, your society, your religion, or your country, then you know what it is like to be naked, alone, and afraid. Reach out to the alienated, and bring them inside. make room for everyone within this big, beautiful society that is the America we will create, now that we are part of America. Use that empathy that is the unintended blessing that comes along with having been hated. And be wonderful in every way.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on November 16, 2012 at 8:42 PM · Report this
watchout5 31
This costs money. For the tax breaks you'd give the new couple the license fees are not a net positive for the state. The economic boom we would see from weddings and shit still wouldn't close the gap. This was a moral question. A really easy moral question that I don't think money should be a driving factor.
Posted by watchout5 on November 16, 2012 at 8:44 PM · Report this
@26,30 James Loewen noted that many Sundown Towns had their very own "pet" black people, which actually reinforced their bigotry by being the exceptions to the rule.
Posted by on November 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 33
@28 I'm going to play against type and be less cynical. Hutch, other professional dogmatists and SOME of their followers will be immune to reason. OTOH, a sizable chunk of the rank and file will gradually come around if they could see real gay people playing nice. And a majority of their kids already are coming around.…

Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on November 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM · Report this
Frau Blucher 34
@26 - I've been out to my family since I was 21 (now in my mid 40's) and with my partner for 11 years. My family is loving and accepting, for which I am grateful, BUT, I have an older brother that is a diehard republican. And, as he stated to me one day, "you know I love you and want you to be happy, but I will always consider marriage between one man and one woman."

Yes, I do know he loves me. Yes, I do know he wants me to be happy, but NO amount of good deeds can persuade such people to ever change their minds. He's already told me that.
Posted by Frau Blucher on November 17, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
@33: Thanks for that link. It's a very interesting and well-articulated piece.
Posted by MLM on November 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Q*bert H. Humphrey 36
Western WA counties where "approved" got at least 40%: all of them except Lewis County.

Eastern WA counties where "approved" got at least 40%: Klickitat, Kittitas (home to CWU), Chelan, Spokane (home to EWU and Gonzaga), Whitman (home to WSU).
Posted by Q*bert H. Humphrey on November 17, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
IStillDream 37
I know that it would have some serious negative consequences (chiefly the creation of a new red state), but at times it seems like the sensible thing would just be to rotate the Washington-Oregon border 90 degrees--let one state get Seattle and Portland, oases of sensibility and saneness, and let Western Washington and Western Oregon discover together what happens when their governing philosophies are put into practice.
Posted by IStillDream on November 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
IStillDream 38
Sorry, I meant Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon. Not awake yet.
Posted by IStillDream on November 18, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
I was also interested to see that more people voted to legalize marijuana than voted in favor of marriage equality. This was also true in Eastern Washington. For example Spokane County handily rejected marriage but approved marijuana. Several other eastern counties approved marijuana as well. I would have thought that people who favor legalization of marijuana would also favor gay marriage. It seems that this issues did track for a large majority of voters, but there were a significant minority who favored marijuana but rejected gay marriage.

I live near Portland, Or, but I spend 4 Saturdays in Clark COunty working for the passage of R-74. I am so thrilled and proud, and honored to be a small part of this victory
Posted by susan rosenthal on November 19, 2012 at 12:47 AM · Report this
HellboundAlleee 40
The worst part of living in Chelan county was having to go to work while my company allowed anti-gay marriage pollsters to set up outside. It was like a kick in the stomach.
Posted by HellboundAlleee on November 19, 2012 at 5:32 AM · Report this
Dominic Holden 41
@29) I got the tip from Rep. Pedersen the day before, as the post says.
Posted by Dominic Holden on November 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this

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