KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Referendum 74 is still a close count. The measure to legalize same sex marriages is passing right now with 52% of the vote.
However, same sex marriage was rejected in Franklin, Benton and Yakima counties, which greatly affects the young adults and teens that visit the Vista Youth Center.
The Kennewick center is a safe haven for teens and young adults in the gay lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. Tuesday night, a dozen of them gathered to watch election results, specifically for Referendum 74. As the early numbers poured in after 8:00pm, initial results showed the measure failing, and tears were rolling.
But then, the charts shifted in the other directions. The members spoke out about what marriage equality means to them personally.
"People these days seem to be getting more ok with other people being different. I mean we're all different right?," asked 20 year old Michael Thornhill who doesn't believe in sexual labels.
"I think it means times are changing and people are more accepting," said 21 year old Sadie Bauer who has been coming to the Vista Youth Center for six years since it opened.
"It means that I get to be happy in the future, marry someone I love," said 19 year old Brittany Matias.
The youth center members said they weren't surprised to see the measure rejected in our community based on how many political signs they've seen. The actual referendum doesn't go into affect until December 6th if it does pass once all the votes are tallies.