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By Sno Isle 

Two Panel Discussions on Same-Sex Marriage Referendum 74 to Inform Voters on “Issues That Matter”


September 14, 2012

Marysville, Wash. — Both major party national conventions are over. Now what? Well, here’s an opportunity to get better informed on an important state issue — same-sex marriage.

The public can listen to the pros and cons on the hot topic of the state’s marriage laws by attending two upcoming “Issues That Matter” panel discussions before casting their votes on R-74. Referendum 74 is on the November ballot and voters will ratify or reject the referendum which seeks to nullify Washington state's recent law legalizing same-sex marriage.

These “Issues That Matter” 2012 panel debates are presented free to the public by Sno-Isle Libraries and funded by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation to encourage community conversations on high-profile current issues and to enable area voters to be better informed about issues on the state ballot.

Tuesday, Sept. 25

7:00 – 8:30 pm

Edmonds Community College

20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood


o Joseph Backholm, Chairman, Preserve Marriage Washington

o Dr. Joe Fuiten, Pastor, Cedar Park Church

o Judge Anne Levinson (retired), Washington United for Marriage

o State Rep. Marko Liias

Thursday, Sept. 27

7:00 – 8:30 pm

Oak Harbor Library

1000 SE Regatta Dr ., Oak Harbor

Meeting Room HH137


o Joseph Backholm, Chairman, Preserve Marriage Washington

o Dr. Joe Fuiten, Pastor, Cedar Park Church

o Joshua Friedes, Spokesperson, Equal Rights Washington

o Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Trinity Episcopal Church

The panels will be moderated by Dr. Marshall Goldberg, a retired physician, and a board member for both the Oak Harbor Sno-Isle Library and the League of Women Voters of Whidbey Island. He promotes civil discourse as a way to further authentic democracy in our society.

Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions through the moderator. Come early; seating is limited.

Sno-Isle Libraries and the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation are neutral on topics covered by “Issues That Matter” programs. The Library invites the public to learn more about different viewpoints on marriage and related issues by using the Libraries’ substantial physical, digital and virtual online resources, such as books, audio and ebooks, credible research databases, and websites which can be found through the Sno-Isle Libraries’ website at:

Why would a public library create a forum to discuss whether or not to allow same-sex couples to marry? “Public libraries have long used their unique community status to fuel authentic dialogue and discourse,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Board Chair Jackie DeFazio. “We serve a vital public interest in ensuring the free flow of information, knowledge and full social equity for all residents of Snohomish and Island counties.”

According to results from library district-wide surveys in late 2011, more than 65% of library customers and 54% of non-library users felt library-sponsored meetings to discuss issues of critical importance were of high value.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 671,000 residents in Snohomish and Island counties. Sno-Isle has community libraries in Arlington, Brier, Camano Island, Clinton, Coupeville, Darrington, Edmonds, Freeland, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Langley, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Oak Harbor, Snohomish, Stanwood, and Sultan, as well as bookmobile stops in communities and at senior centers. Services and materials include more than 1.2 million items, reference services, electronic databases and computer equipment, Internet access, outreach programs for the homebound and local daycares, and story times for children. For more information on library services in your area, please call the Sno-Isle Libraries Service Center at 360-651-7000 or 1-877-SNO-ISLE (1-877-766-4753), or visit the website at


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