“We share the same core values for a more just society and community, we just work toward it in different ways.”
As marriage equality swept the nation this year, we were treated to a flood of touching images showing older gay couples getting married after spending decades in committed relationships.
But normalcy is the true sign of progress. 43rd District Rep. Brady Walkinshaw met his now husband Micah Horwith six years ago on a blind date at Summit’s Sun Liquor. On August 8th, they got married on Capitol Hill in a ceremony officiated by Ed Murray, Seattle’s first openly gay and Capitol Hill-residing mayor.
“It was incredibly meaningful for someone who has lead so much on the marriage equality fight to officiate the wedding,” said Walkinshaw, who helped work on the campaign along with Horwith.
Walkinshaw, a Whatcom County native who lives on Capitol Hill, took office in 2014 to replace Sen. Jaime Pedersen as he replaced Murray upon his move to City Hall.
Horwith is a marine biologist with the state’s Department of Natural Resources. His dissertation title (because dissertation titles are windows into the soul) was “Plant Behavior and Patch-Level Resilience in the Habitat-Forming Seagrass Zostera marina.”
Politics can be tough for the families of elected officials, but Walkinshaw said his husband is up for the challenge. “We share the same core values for a more just society and community, we just work toward it in different ways,” Walkinshaw said.
While on break from Olympia, Walkinshaw is gearing up for more criminal justice reform in the next session. He told CHS he is working with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office on reducing prisoner reentry.
He’s also hoping to push through a bill held up in the Senate that would make it easier for people coming out of prison to find jobs. The program would allow judges to issue a certificate that proves ex-prisoners have fulfilled the conditions of a sentence.
Earlier this year, the legislature passed two of Walkinshaw’s bills with Capitol Hill ties. Joel’s Law would strengthen involuntarily commitment guidelines for people suffering from mental illness. The bill was inspired by Joel Reuter who died on Capitol Hill in 2013. Walkinshaw’s other bill expanded access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the deadly effects of a heroin overdose.