Photo by Steve Shay
L-R, Daryl Dukes & boyfriend Dave Kern live on the Burien, West Seattle border. They attended a Referendum-74 election party at OutWest Bar Tuesday night.

OutWest Bar patrons & revelers at Westin celebrate Ref-74's projected victory for marriage-equality

Washington State, with Referendum-74, is projected to join Maine and Maryland in allowing same-sex couples to wed via public vote.

Because of our mail-in voting system, Washington's final tally won't be official for the next few days. It was leading 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent in the final hours of Nov. 6. late Election Night.

It seemed like well over two thousand supporters of the referendum, and of President Obama, packed four floors of the Westin Hotel election night in downtown Seattle, if cheers, hugs, t-shirts, and poster-toting revelers were an accurate indication.

Closer to home, the OutWest Bar, which calls itself "West Seattle’s only Neighborhood LGBTQA Bar", at 5401 California Ave. SW, hosted a well-attended Referendum-74 party election night.

Boyfriends Daryl Dukes and Dave Kern live on the Burien, West Seattle border and attended the party. They are regulars at OutWest. While not sure if they will marry, they now have a choice.

"It's an exciting time right now because Obama can get the work that he started done," said Kern. "We're a progressive state where we are now able to marry as a gay couple, to make good choices about the drugs we're able to use, and it looks like we have a Democratic governor.

Kern added, "We helped planned the event with the owners Chad Gabelein and Bob Lunke, and thought it was important to have an option for a venue in West Seattle for folks to come in and watch the election results."

"I am excited and now we're done," added Dukes. "I'm glad to be over with all the election B.S."

Former West Seattle residents, now on Vashon Island, longtime same-sex couple Maureen Burke and Pearce Cobarr, celebrated at the Westin Hotel's election party.

"We're optimistic that Washingtonians will recognize, and vote for fairness as a Washington value," said Burke. "We do and we don't live in a bubble. We represent most of Washington, and most Washingtonians recognize that committed loving couples should have the freedom to marry whether they are same-sex or opposite-sex."

"This is important not only to couples involved, but also to families, and kids who are part of the families," said Cobarr. The couple has three young children. "This fight goes beyond the walls of any discourse between different folks and their differing points of view. This goes to the basic rights and basic love and freedom that we want to make sure that everyone can aspire to."

"We've had a really good ground game all weekend talking to the voters (about the referendum), and now it is time to listen to the voters," said West Seattle resident and King County Councilmember Joe McDermott at the Westin early in the evening. He plans to marry his partner, Michael Culpepper.

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