Posted by: sweeneyblog | October 22, 2013

Bill Knutzen Voted Against Marriage Equality

A student who attended the Candidate Forum at WWU forwarded me this video and I thought it definitely needed sharing. It is a little soft so you might need to turn up your volume or turn on the captions.

For those who can’t watch the video, the candidates were asked about their vote on Referendum 74, which was passed in 2012 and approved marriage equality for thousands of Washingtonians. Barry Buchanan expressed his support, Ben Elenbaas gave a rambling religious answer that finished with, “I don’t have a problem with Gay Marriage.”

Bill Knutzen’s answer was succinct. “I voted no. That’s my answer.” Now, I know that the County Council rarely deals with social issues, but I just think of the thousands of Gay and Lesbian Whatcom County residents who are represented by Bill Knutzen. He just told you that he doesn’t believe you have a right to the same legal status as he and his wife.

Knutzen’s opponent, Rud Browne, supports marriage equality. “The words are, ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ It doesn’t say that the government defines what happiness is, so I voted yes.”

I couldn’t agree with Browne more. 



  1. I may not agree with his politics, and won’t vote for him, but not because of his answer. You have to admit, he was asked, he probably knew what it would cost him, and he didn’t beat around the bush justifying it one way or the other. He did have the integrity to state what he did.
    I support equal marriage, but I respect anyone who has the fortitude to state his beliefs, even if they oppose my own.

    • Sandy Brewer: So what I hear is that you respect Knutzen who stated his vote of prejudice against people who wish to marry their same sex partners because he, at least, has the fortitude to state his prejudice? Knutzen seems to have no problem ignoring the WA state GMA law so I’m not surprised that he also chooses to ignore federal law called the 14th Amendment. Do you really think ignoring the law shows he has integrity? I believe it shows arrogance on his part, not integrity.

      Have you given thought to the idea that Knutzen not beating around the bush could be a sign that he is proud of his anti-equal marriage stance? Many people are. Sorry, but it’s not okay to endorse prejudice and to praise people for having conviction in their prejudice.

  2. Now that I think about it – his response probably didn’t lose him support amongst the far right, who would vote for him anyway. Among those of us in the thinking electorate, I think our minds may have been made up, also.

    • That is a fair point – he didn’t dodge the question. But the point still stands that he does not represent the values of Whatcom County – and for that, I’m voting for Rud Browne.

    • And what do you think about Bill, bunga bunga on your blanket?

    • How about the unthinking immoral electorate elitists?

  3. I’m surprised to learn Bill voted. Records show he never has, at any time in the past, except when he was on the ballot.

  4. No surprises here. Thanks for following them to WWU Riley.

  5. You write, “But the point still stands that he does not represent the values of Whatcom County”. How can you be so sure? He does represent my values. Please refrain from speaking for all of Whatcom County.

    And….he very well could have dodged the question, lied or just not voted. Instead he said what he voted even though he must have known that you Riley would slam him for it.

    Rud, on the other hand, seems to make decisions based on what will get him elected. I’m pretty sick of hearing him pat himself on the back for supporting the reconveyance. I have no doubt that his support was purely a political move.

    • Yes, he could have dodged the question, but I don’t think he gets a pat on the back, to use your term, for telling the truth about his views. That should be expected of all candidates for office.

      About the Rud Browne’s support for the Reconveyance . . . I don’t think he is secretly against it, if that is what you are implying. He was for it because it is a smart investment for our county, and as a businessman with a proven track record, he knows a good investment when he sees it.

      Finally, let’s get to the issue of values, Delaine, are you telling me that you support banning two consenting adults from getting married? Are tou are in favor of continuing bigotry in this state?

      When I’m talking about Whatcom County values, I’m talking about our love of freedom and equality – something that Bill Knutzen clearly opposes for the LGBT people he represents.

      • Riley, you are a partisan freak.

      • I don’t think standing up for equality and freedom of choice makes me a partisan freak – if anything, it makes more of a libertarian.

    • He doesn’t “pat himself on the back” for supporting the reconveyance. And he doesn’t make decisions based on what will get him elected — he makes decisions, and has made decisions, that fair better for the citizens and locals of this county. He isn’t going to decide or say he will decide on something that will just get him a vote; he decides what he thinks is the answer, and what he finds other people agree with him as well.

  6. So Bill’s opinion doesn’t count because it is not PC? Don’t vote for him.

    He also represents the straight voters (the majority) along with the LGBT people.

    • A majority of Whatcom County decided that discriminating against LGBT people is a thing of the past, it is disappointing that Bill Knutzen wanted to stand in the way of that.

    • He doesn’t represent this straight voter. There’s a difference between “political correctness” and “not being a bigot.”

      • “Politically correct” is just a right-wing buzzword racists and bigots tend to use when they’re complaining about the fact they feel like people judge them negatively for being racists or bigots.

        Unfortunately, the problem with being racist or a bigoted is not that it’s “politically incorrect,” or that people will judge you negatively. They’re getting their causality backwards. The problem is that it’s wrong to be racist or bigoted.

        Racists and bigots have been trying very hard for the last 30 or so years to claim that being “tolerant” means you must allow people to have views and pursue policies that are generally racist, sexist, or otherwise bigoted. It’s an attempt to wash views and policies that actually hurt people in the soup of cultural relativity, which seems to happen at the same time as railing against cultural relativity “on principle.”

        It’s really absurd and should be treated as such.

  7. Riley: You made a telling point about candidates telling the truth about their views. “That should be expected of all candidates for office.” Will you please then call out all eight candidates for County Council for hiding behind Mr. McEachran’s erroneous ruling that they must have no opinion on the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. I suspect (a) that all candidates have views; (b) that most everybody who follows local affairs knows said views; and. (c) that they are flat out fibbing when they say they are waiting for the EIS to make up their minds.


  8. […] about Bill Knutzen, you say? While I disagreed with him about many issues (here for a start), he was always pleasant, positive and friendly. Also, he was by far one of the funniest council […]

  9. […] Werven have large policy differences? Doubtful. You can read my interview with Knutzen here, and this exchange over marriage equality from last year shows how he approaches social […]

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