Professor Stephanie Good from The Evergreen State College, discusses the history of marriage and the Supreme Court's recent decision in favor of same sex marriage.
Rotary Club of Olympia Meeting Notes
July 27, 2015
Today’s Program: The History of Marriage
Meeting Called to order by President Jack Belmont at 12:25 pm
Invocation by Seth Goldstein
Pledge of Allegiance led by Tom Myrum
Song:  God Bless America led by Gloria Strait (made popular by singer Kate Smith)
Four Way Test led by Past President Bill Lahmann
Visiting Rotarians:
Jim Goddard, Health Insurance, Denver, Colorado
Jim Goddard, Chris Goddard, Jill Severson, Sue Hartley, Joanne Sandford, Wayne Williams, Diane Symond, Joanne Simons, Melanie Stewart, Johanna Kimberg, Nancy Elliott, Mo’s sister from Lexington, Kentucky, Carly Chamberlin, and more…
Happy Bucks:
  • Leslie Johnson will go on a Youth Paddle from Nooksack to Snohomish to Mukilteo (she usually supports from the shores).  Also, the Tribe is going to participate in Sand in the City for the first time
  • Fred Adair got to hear Kate Smith sing God Bless America in person!  Fred had a surprise visit from his daughter and her 22 year old twin daughters.  Polio Plus—good news, Nigeria will be polio free for one year at the end of August—that means all of Africa will be polio free at the end of August.  World Health Organization pronounces them Polio Free if there have been no new cases in three years.  So far this year there have only been 33 cases in the world (128 cases in 2014).
  • Mary Sue Wilson turned 50 in November—the benefit is that she was able to participate in the  Senior Games that were hosted in Thurston County this year.  Her team took a Gold Medal in volleyball!
  • Bob Heck hosted his father’s birthday party this past weekend.  Remember, Sand in the City is in 4 weeks—There is a Gala dinner on August 21st that still has tickets available, the actual event is August 22 and 23.
  • Maureen Considine celebrated her 65th birthday.  Her daughter completed her Medical Residency in Emergency Medicine and was home for the celebration.  Mo is also still looking for host families for three exchange students let her know if you are interested.
  • Gloria Strait got to sing in the Berkshires this year—it was wonderful
  • Dennis Cooper hasbeen absent—he was back east at a conference where they discussed uniform laws pertaining to fiduciary access to digital assets after a death.  Also Dennis was sad to hear of the passing of Charlie McCann—a great club member.
  • Debra Stephens celebrated her 50th birthday, and her 25 year old daughter helped her celebrate by chartering a boat that went up the Snake River through Hells Canyon to the dam—it was a great trip—although it was 114 degrees on the hottest day!
  • Seth Goldstein was recently in Washington DC at the Air and Space museum celebrating his 42nd birthday.
Brad Hooper announced that there are packs of 10 tickets to the Spaghetti Bowl—please take them and either sell them or buy them and donate them back for use by students and others.  A package is $70—Cynthia Zechmann already bought and paid for her packet—thank you Cynthia!
Steve Bean auctioned off some of Oscar’s Garlic Dill pickles for $30 to Denny Peterson—also Reid Bates, John Clees, and Denis Adams agreed to buy pickles at $30 a jar. Steve auctioned off two tickets to the Books by the Bay event with local authors for $70 to Gloria Strait.
Two new members were inducted into the club by President Jack Belmont today—Oscar Soule introduced Amanda Walker, who is the Vice President for Advancement and the Executive Director of TESC Foundation.  She grew up in Walla Walla, WA, was educated at Whitman College and in England.  Martin Meyer introduced Brianna LeMay, a native Oregonian, graduate of OSU with a degree in International Business and Marketing—moved to Olympia in 2007 and is currently the WSECU contract manager.  Welcome to the club!
Program: Jewel Goddard introduced Professor Stephanie Good from The Evergreen State College who was cited in the Supreme Court’s decision regarding same sex marriage.
Stephanie’s remarks included a brief history of marriage and an explanation for why she believes the ruling of the Supreme Court in favor of same sex marriage was inevitable based on the changing definition of marriage in our society.
Summary of remarks:
Historically, marriage was about procreation, wealth, and gaining allies. Since the early 1900’s, this traditional definition of marriage has been slowly taken apart.
  • 1920’s: During this time it became common thought that individuals should have the right to marry, and be able to choose who they would marry.
  • 1930’s: With the development of contraception, marriage because less about procreation.
  • 1954:    Before this time assisted reproduction did not produce “legitimate” children. Legislation at this time further removed procreation from the definition of marriage.
  • 1960’s: The civil rights movement at this time, called for us to extend the right to marry to people others did not “approve” of—like convicted prisoners, people of different races, paupers, etc.
  • 1970’s: During this era, the “head of household” laws were repealed—before this, men were legally responsible for supporting their wives and families, and women were expected to provide home services.
At each time in history a different piece of the definition of marriage was shifted so now society understands marriage as a right for all people to choose who they marry, based on love, and with no requirement for procreation. Further, couples are under no legal obligation to distribute work within their relationship in any specific way. For these reasons, there are no longer legal barriers keeping same sex couples from their right to marry.
All of this said, problems still exist because in the US we attached many rights to marriage that other countries define as civil rights.  Some examples are rights to care for the sick and dying, tax codes favoring married couples, and insurance coverage.
In 2015 the Supreme Court upheld Same Sex marriages—another defining moment in the history of marriage!
Mr. Snappy won by Bill Lahmann—a $25 gift certificate to Starbucks donated by Sean Padget
Meeting adjourned at 1:35 pm by President Jack Belmont
Meeting minutes submitted by Janice Wharton