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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 24, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 21
Washington United named 'Champion of Justice' - Sen. Murray presents award to group that led Approve R-74 campaign
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Washington United named 'Champion of Justice' - Sen. Murray presents award to group that led Approve R-74 campaign

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

In a ceremony on May 23, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) presented Washington United for Marriage with the Alliance for Justice 'Champion of Justice' award. Marylanders for Marriage Equality, Mainers United for Marriage, and Minnesotans United were also honored.

'Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society,' the group's website says.

Murray presented the award at a luncheon attended by more than 600 public officials, progressive leaders, lawyers, public-interest advocates, and activists. Amy White, former chair of the Washington United coordinating committee, accepted the award for the group.

POWER OF COMMUNITY
'Washington United for Marriage was on the front lines, right up until the final ballot was counted, to make equality a certainty for all those around our state,' Murray said.

'And now, the state I love is one step closer to ensuring we are not discriminating against anyone because of who they love. They are proof of the incredible power that a community can have when we come together to fight for equality.'

Murray was introduced by Stanford University Law School Professor Pamela Karlan, co-counsel for Edith Windsor, whose challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act was heard by the Supreme Court in March.

Recalling the day that then-Gov. Christine Gregoire signed this state's Marriage Equality Act, Murray called it 'a day of joy for all of the loving, committed Gay and Lesbian couples of my home state - and for all of us who respect and support them.'

MUCH WORK REMAINS
Murray thanked Washington United for their 'astounding work' leading the Approve Referendum 74 campaign to preserve the Marriage Equality Act, adding that 'there is so much more to do.'

'That's why right now in Congress I'm working to end DOMA once and for all,' she said.

'It's why I'm working on tough new measures to combat bullying and harassment in our schools. And it's why I have called on [Veterans Affairs] Secretary [Eric] Shinseki to allow LGBT veterans and their spouses to be buried in national cemeteries without delay.

'And it's why I'm working to change outdated policies that say LGBT couples have to face a paperwork nightmare to be able to file their taxes jointly.'

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