Seattle Out and Proud announces Grand Marshals for Pride Parade
Seattle Out and Proud announces Grand Marshals for Pride Parade
by Tim Peter - SGN Staff Writer

This year's Gay Pride Parade will include three grand marshals. They are Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire; Force 10 Hoops (parent company of Seattle Storm) chairperson Anne Levinson; and Safe Schools Coalition.

"Gov. Gregoire has delivered real results to the people of Washington," says Seattle Out and Proud's website, "Combining effective leadership with a tireless work ethic, she has shown time and again that she has the courage and independence to stand up and fight for individuals and families. Under her leadership, we are building a better future for Washington families."

Gregoire is no stranger to Seattle's GLBT community. In 2006, she signed into law the first statewide anti-discrimination bill for GLBT people of Washington, which took a 30-year fight in the legislature before gaining enough votes to become law. She also signed the state's first Domestic Partnership law in 2007 and another law greatly expanding those rights in 2008.

"The Safe Schools Coalition was the spark that in 1988 ignited the international movement for LGBTQ-safe-and-welcoming-schools," SOAP's website says. "The Coalition did groundbreaking research that documented the anti-LGBTQ humiliation and the physical and sexual assaults happening in elementary middle and high schools all over the state. Today, the Coalition helps schools become safe places for every student, family and employee regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression."

"Anne Levinson was also one of Washington state's first openly LGBT public officials for nearly two decades," the website says. "She served as a judge, Chair of Washington State's Utilities & Transportation Commission, Deputy Mayor and legal counsel to Seattle mayors Norm Rice and Charles Royer. As a judge, she founded and then presided over one of the nation's first mental health courts. While chairing the Utility Commission, she fought against energy deregulation."