- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - When he was a young gay man, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said the idea that he could someday get married seemed a far-fetched notion.

“I couldn’t have imagined anything but living … a secret or painful life,” Murray said at an emotional City Hall news conference Friday morning after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was legal in all 50 states.

Murray, who for years led efforts in the state Legislature to allow same-sex marriage, thanked the justices who voted in favor of expanding marriage rights in 5-4 decision.

“Today I’m able to say to Americans what I said to Washingtonians the day we signed our marriage equality bill: ‘Welcome to the other side of the rainbow,’ ” said Murray, 60, who was joined at City Hall by his husband, Michael Shiosaki.

Washington’s Legislature approved gay marriage in 2012. That measure was later upheld by Washington voters.

Murray was one of many officials in Washington state who praised Friday’s ruling.

“Today’s historic court ruling is another big step in American’s long road to justice for all,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement.

Sen. Patty Murray called the decision “a victory for equality and for love,” and Sen. Maria Cantwell said efforts to end discrimination must not stop.

“We must continue to fight all forms of discrimination that LGBT people continue to face and ensure that there are comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protections in place,” Cantwell said in a statement.

Not all were pleased with the Supreme Court decision.

Joseph Backholm, executive director of Family Policy Institute of Washington, said in a statement that the justices had gone against the will of tens of millions of people in states that had voted against gay marriage.

“The freedom to democratically address the most pressing social issues of the day is the heart of liberty,” Backholm said. “Today, the Court stripped the people of that freedom. Government should not impose their beliefs on the people.”

At Seattle City Hall, longtime City Councilman Tom Rasmussen also spoke of the societal changes he has seen.

“When I graduated from law school, I didn’t think I’d be able to hold a job or hold an apartment or live my life freely and openly if people knew that I was gay,” Rasmussen said. “This day is a dream, as the mayor said. It seemed like an impossible dream.”

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