What a sight – I will never forget seeing the Pride flag on top of the Space Needle for the first time! I felt so proud of Seattle, and completely welcome in my home town. Thank you once again for raising the flag and helping us raise $50,000.00 for LGBT causes last year. The Thank You letter that was initiated has amassed almost 4000 signatures; people still continue to express their gratitude daily.
Whenever I see photos of the Space Needle with the Pride flag, I think about how important that moment was for young people in Seattle and around the world. As you know, bullying has continued to lead to highly public suicides by young gay or gay-perceived youth. It is still very challenging for young people in this country. However, when I see photos of the Space Needle with the Pride flag, I can't help but think of the young people, and how much hope your symbol of acceptance must give them.
I also was inspired by how important that moment was for me and my older LGBT friends. Our older community members have struggled for the most basic rights, like being able to rent an apartment, or hold a job, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I will never forget the smiles on their faces as they gazed upon the Space Needle proudly waving the flag.
Those of us who are gay and live in Seattle and WA State are fortunate - many of our representatives are supportive of our equality. And when we saw that rainbow flag flying over the iconic Needle, we for a brief time felt included and welcomed - a feeling many of us as LGBT folk never get to experience. Many of our youth are homeless and have no access to computers; others watch the “It Gets Better” videos and wonder, “when?” Last year our President and our Governor, the King County Council, The Seattle City Council and our Mayor again proclaimed Gay Pride and the rainbow flag again flew over the Space Needle. No one will remember those proclamations, but thousands will remember seeing the flag atop the Needle. And everyone who saw it will know that thanks to you, it had already gotten a little better.
Space Needle, we still need you to continue to show your pride because young people are still bullied for who they are. We need you to be a beacon of hope for people around the world who are oppressed -- and even threatened with death -- simply because of who they were born to be. This year in November we face a referendum on our struggle for equality. Please join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality and continue to stand with the LGBT community. Please show the world that Seattle welcomes everyone by raising the flag again for Seattle Pride 2012.More than 3000 signatures were reached in 24 hours on Pride Weekend. Space Needle - how about a $50,000.00 Matching Challenge for Marriage Equality. Please join Starbucks, Microsoft, Sub Pop and other local institutions that have made substantial financial contributions to preserve marriage equality in Washington State. Help us raise money to defend our civil rights. Become a corporate supporter of Washington United for Marriage. Stand with us on the right side of history. It's the smart thing to do - it's the right thing to do.