VOICES UNITED FOR MARRIAGE

// Seattle Men’s Chorus, Seattle Women’s Chorus give free concert in Tacoma to urge approval of Referendum 74

Taking their show on the road for a five-city tour of Western Washington this month, the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus will perform at Pantages Theatre on Sept. 14 for what promises to be an outstanding evening of song, community and support for marriage equality – and admission is free. The music starts at 8 p.m.

Through their free concert series “Voices United for Marriage,” the choruses are getting out among the voting public to urge approval of Referendum 74, which will be on the ballot this coming November. Voting yes will help ensure that marriage equality for same-sex couples remains Washington State law as signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire last February. To help rally area voters to be sure and cast their ballots on this critical issue, the choruses are partnering with Washington United for Marriage for events in Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham, Seattle and Edmonds to bring attention to the Yes on R-74 campaign.

“This about getting people to vote,” said chorus executive director Frank Stilwagner. “Since we’re a mail-in (ballot) state, we feel it’s really important to tell people to fill out their ballots and mail them in.

“In talking with the folks at Washington United for Marriage, we felt it was the best use of our time and money to go to areas where voters will most likely support the bill. At this point the goal is to concentrate on the I-5 corridor where we know support is there.

We want to go where we know the support is and encourage people to get out and tell their stories and engage family, friends and co-workers. If we can get people out in support (of R-74), the chances of it passing are very good.

“This is about getting them out to vote.” said chorus executive director Frank Stilwagner. “Since we’re a mail-in (ballot) state, we feel it’s really important to tell people to fill out their ballots and mail them in.

“In talking with the folks at Washington United for Marriage, we felt it was the best use of our time and money to go to areas where voters will most likely support the bill. At this point the goal is to concentrate on the I-5 corridor where we know support is there.

The program will include a 90-minute set of music, stories and speakers devoted to building awareness and engaging audiences to take action and vote. Chorus members will share their personal stories describing what marriage means to them, and the choruses will also serve as facilitators for audience member reflections on the importance of marriage in their own lives. Representatives Jamie Pedersen and Laurie Jinkins and Senator Ed Murray are expected to also attend and encourage audience members to get involved in the campaign to approve R-74.

“These concerts align squarely with the mission of the Choruses: to use the power of words and music to recognize the value of gay and straight people and their relationships,” said Pedersen, also a longtime singing member of the Seattle Men’s Chorus. “By sharing the importance of Referendum 74 to our lives, we will help Washington become a place that fully accepts and values its gay and lesbian citizens.” 

Some of the songs the choruses will perform will include “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Dancing Queen,” “Seal Lullaby,” “Come Live With Me and Be My Love” and “Livin’ la Vida Loca.”

To learn more about R-74, visit http://www.WashingtonUnitedForMarriage.org.

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