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04/19/2007


Man Arrested For Violent Threats Against Gay Seattle Mayor, City Council Member

TaylorseattleMitchell Munro Taylor, 32, was arrested last Thursday on charges of cyberstalking and malicious harassment after posting over twenty anti-gay statements on Seattle mayor Ed Murray's Facebook page. The posts threatened violence against not only Murray, but also city council member Kshama Sawant.

The Seattle Times reports:

One post said, “Mayor meet Harvey Milk,” a reference to slain San Francisco board of supervisors member Harvey Milk.

Milk, who was openly gay, was murdered in 1978.

Other posts said “death to socialist council member” and “feminists must get raped and die.”

...

Murray, when interviewed by police, said he found the comments posted on his Facebook page to be very offensive and considered some to be death threats, according to the probable-cause affidavit filed Friday by Ernsdorff.

While Sawant wasn’t named directly in the postings, police believe she was the target because she is the only socialist on the council. Sawant, who was elected to the Seattle City Council in November, told police that “she was concerned for her safety and the safety of her family,” the affidavit said.

Taylor's defense attorney, Eric Lindell, reported that Taylor has Asperger's syndrome and had been off of his medications when the posts were made, though just how those facts play in remain unclear. Lindell asked for bail to be set at $10,000, while prosecutor Gary Ernsdorff requested a far more significant sum of $1 million. On Friday, Taylor's bail was set at $600,000 in the King County District Court presided over by Judge Arthur Chapman.

Taylor reportedly has no prior criminal record. 

Photo via Seattle Times.


Seattle's First Gay Mayor Ed Murray Lays Out First Year Plans: VIDEO

Murray

Ed Murray, Seattle's first gay mayor and first mayor in a same-sex marriage, sits down with local station KIRO to talk about plans for his first year in office.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ed Murray Declares Victory in Seattle Mayoral Race, Will Be City's First Out Gay Mayor: VIDEO

Murray

Ed Murray, an 18-year veteran of Washington's legislature and an architect of Washington state's marriage equality law, declared victory in the Seattle mayoral race on Tuesday night, defeating incumbent mayor Mike McGinn. He'll be the city's first openly gay mayor.

The Seattle Times reports:

Murray grabbed a commanding 56 percent of the votes counted on election night, compared with 43 percent for McGinn.

At a jubilant party at Neumos on Capitol Hill, Murray took the stage before 9 p.m. to cheers and hugs from supporters, including a pack of elected leaders who’d endorsed him.

Signaling the change in tone he hopes to bring to City Hall, Murray said his campaign “was energized by the belief that Seattle can show the nation that government can work once again.”

Although he acknowledged votes remain to be counted, Murray said if current trends hold, “we are here tonight to declare victory.”

About 90,000 votes were counted in the mayor’s race Tuesday. If King County elections officials’ estimate of 57 percent turnout in Seattle hold, McGinn would have to capture 54 percent or more of the remaining votes to make up his big deficit — a virtually impossible task.

Watch raw video from KIRO, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Seattle Mayoral Candidate Ed Murray Marries Longtime Partner

Ed Murray


Ed Murray, architect of Washington state's newly-adopted marriage equality law, finally got to wed his longtime partner Michael Shiosaki this past Saturday. 

The ceremony marked the end of a years-long struggle for Murray, who had repeatedly used his relationship with Shiosaki as evidence when debating the validity of same-sex marriages to his colleagues in the state legislature. The Seattle Times reports that

"Last year, when it was clear there were enough votes in the state Senate to pass historic legislation allowing gays to marry, Murray invited his colleagues to his wedding, although a date had yet to be set." 

Ed Murray Senate FloorMany of those colleagues were in attendance at St. Mark's Cathedral on Capitol Hill for the couple's traditionally Episcopal ceremony, as well as the champagne reception that followed. Those colleagues included "King County Executive Dow Constantine, former Gov. Mike Lowry, State House Speaker Frank Chopp, of Seattle, and Lisa Brown, former Democratic senator from Spokane." Both men donned black tuxedos and white ties for the event, a look that was described as "very Cary Grant." 

Murray, who is in the middle of his campaign for Seattle mayor, told the Seattle Times that he would have preferred to wait until after the November election to go through with the ceremony. Unfortunately, the couple also wished for Shiosaki's parents, aged 89 and 85, to escort their son down the aisle. Thus, the couple opted for a new date: August 10, which also happened to mark the 22nd anniversary of the day that they met. Fortunately (or unfortunately), the couple still plans to honeymoon after November's election. 

Murray and Shiosaki have also appeared together in one of Murray's campaign ads for Seattle's mayor, a gesture that still stirs up controversy after Murray's years of advocacy. "Over the years, both received death threats and what they refer to as 'after-death threats' of the  ‘you’ll-burn-in-hell’ variety," reported the Times. But still, according to Shiosaki's best man, Don Botts, the two men are a fine example that any committed couple should aspire to, gay or straight. “They are apart six to nine months every year, but they’ve made it work. Michael’s love and support of Ed is completely evident and visa versa.”


Seattle Mayoral Candidate Ed Murray Appears with Husband-to-Be in New Ad: VIDEO

Murray

Ed Murray, the 18-year veteran of Seattle's legislature who was a prime mover of Washington's marriage equality law, is now running for mayor of Seattle, putting his sexuality, his progressive record, and his fiancé Michael Shiosaki (an August wedding is in the works), front and center.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via the victory fund)

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Out Gay State Senator Ed Murray Chosen by Dems as Majority Leader of Washington Senate

Senator Ed Murray will become the second openly LGBT person to lead a state senate chamber after being chosen as majority leader of the Washington state senate late yesterday, the Victory Fund reports:

MurrayMurray, 57, was first elected to the Senate in 2006 after serving 11 years in the Wash. House of Representatives.  He was a leading voice in favor of passage of the state’s marriage equality bill, which voters affirmed last week.

“We have work to do in Olympia – prioritizing education, creating jobs for the middle class, and ensuring Washingtonians have the health care they need. And one of our challenges in a closely divided chamber is to ensure that the Senate is able to fulfill its obligation to govern the state, in tandem with Gov.-elect Jay Inslee and the House. These are not simple challenges, but they are solvable. We can find solutions that work for all of Washington,” Murray said in a release tonight.

The first state senate leader was the late Allan Spear of Minnesota, the VF notes, who served 28 years in that state's legislature, retiring in 2000.

Other out gay lawmakers currently leading their chambers are Assembly Speaker John Perez in California, House Speaker Gordon D. Fox in Rhode Island, and incoming House Speaker Mark Ferrandino in Colorado.


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