At the stroke of midnight Sunday, same-sex couples across Washington state rushed to exchange wedding vows, marking the first time the state has legally recognized their “I do’s.”
To celebrate the victory for marriage equality advocates, MSNBC host Chris Hayes offered a toast in honor of his guest Dan Savage, founder of the “It Gets Better” project. Savage will be joining other gay couples who are walking down the aisle Sunday, after Gov. Christine Gregoire this week certified the citizen-passed measure that made Washington one of three states this election cycle to usher in marriage rights for same-sex couples. Sunday is the first day couples can officially wed.
“The marriage fight is over when we say it’s over, and it’s over when we win,” Savage told Hayes in a pre-taped interview.
Savage founded the “It Gets Better” project in support of LGBT people because he says he was tired of hearing tragic stories of people who feel they are alone and struggling. ”It’s talking to the kid but it’s also talking to everyone else, that this is all normal,” Savage said.
The timing behind Washington’s marriage law comes just days before the Supreme Court said it would take up two historic cases addressing same-sex marriage: the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and California’s Proposition 8.
Public opinion in support of gay marriage, particularly among young people, has shifted dramatically in recent decades. In a new Gallup Poll out this week, 73% of Americans ages 18 to 29 said they approve of legal same-sex marriage to 26% who oppose. Savage expects those numbers to grow for even older populations as more straight households learn to accept LGBT people in their families.
“That’s our advantage,” Savage said. “It’s our superpower as a minority group.”