glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy





social sciences

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-E  F-L  M-Z

Murray, Edward B. ("Ed")  (b. 1955)  
page: 1  2  3  

Although disappointed that the referendum was submitted to the voters, Murray expressed confidence. He told the Seattle Times, "While it's regrettable that a referendum is being filed to undo the progress we have made this session to treat gay and lesbian families the same as married families, I don't believe that voters will decide in November to take away rights from anyone."

Murray's prediction was correct. On November 3, 2009, Washington voters, by a 53% to 47% margin approved the domestic partner legislation. It was the first time gay partnerships were affirmed by a popular vote.

Sponsor Message.

By 2012 Murray felt that the time was right to seek marriage equality and he sponsored a bill to authorize same-sex marriage. He skillfully moved the bill through the Senate, garnering the support of four Republicans to provide the coalition needed for victory. The bill passed by a wider margin in the House and Governor Gregoire signed it into law in a joyous ceremony at the state capitol.

However, homophobic organizations again launched a petition campaign and again subjected the question to the voters as a referendum on the ballot.

Murray's sense that Washington voters were ready to extend equal marriage rights to glbtq citizens was verified in the results. In the historic election of November 2012 the citizens of Washington approved marriage equality by a margin of 53% to 46%. On the same day, voters in Maine and Maryland also approved referenda on marriage equality, and voters in Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage.

Soon after the November 2012 election, Murray, who had served for two years as chairman of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee, was elected by acclamation Senate Majority Leader. Election to that position made Murray the most powerful openly gay lawmaker in the state and among the most powerful openly gay legislators in the country.

However, Murray was to serve only a year as Majority Leader, for he soon decided to run for mayor of Seattle.

On August 10, 2013 Murray wed his partner, Michael Shiosaki. It was the twenty-second anniversary of the day that they had met on a camping trip to Mount Rainier that had been organized by some mutual friends.

Murray told Lynn Thompson of the Seattle Times that he was immediately smitten upon seeing Shiosaki: "I thought, 'Wow. Who's that?'"

The two men quickly discovered that, in addition to sharing a love of nature and a passion for glbtq rights, they were each deeply committed to a personal religious faith. Shiosaki belongs to the Methodist Church.

The couple moved into a house in Seattle where Shiosaki, a landscape designer, created a beautiful garden. Shiosaki is the director of planning for the Parks Department of Seattle.

Murray and Shiosaki were a visibly out couple and, as a result, reported Thompson, "Over the years, both received death threats and what they refer to as 'after-death threats' of the 'you'll burn in hell' variety." The couple refused to be deterred.

Murray and Shiosaki were married at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, a congregation with a long record of welcoming glbtq worshippers.

Murray was escorted to the altar by two of his sisters, Margaret Fox and Judy Murray. Shiosaki walked down the aisle with his parents, Fred and Lily Shiosaki. The nuptial couple's King Charles spaniel, Rory, performed the role of ring-bearer and, according to Thompson, "barked when the sermon was in danger of running too long."

The newlyweds did not take a honeymoon trip since Murray was in the midst of his campaign for mayor of Seattle.

Murray received numerous endorsements from labor, business, and environmentalists, as well as from legislative colleagues and from former Governor Gregoire.

During the campaign against an incumbent mayor with whom he had few policy disagreements, Murray emphasized his ability to solve problems and get things done. His mantra was that "I am not running to be a gay mayor of Seattle. I am not running to be a progressive mayor of Seattle. I am running to be an effective mayor of Seattle." Yet it was clear to many observers that his sexual orientation was actually an asset in his race rather than a hindrance.

Indeed, during the campaign, Murray made his leadership in the area of gay rights an important element of his appeal to voters. His commercials prominently featured Shiosaki and his advocacy for marriage equality, as well as a photo of him with former U.S. Representative Barney Frank.

In a story about the campaign, Kirk Johnson noted that Seattle now surpasses San Francisco in having the highest percentage of same-sex households and that Seattle voted overwhelmingly in favor of the marriage equality bill.

The final television commercial featured, in addition to the image of Murray and Shiosaki walking together, also "a parade of supporters not so subtly answering a question about their belief in Mr. Murray and the city's future under his leadership with the repeated refrain, 'I do.' The ad's final scene: a lesbian marriage."

In November 1913, Murray defeated incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn by a 54% to 46% margin.

On November 9, 2013, Murray stepped down as Senate Majority Leader and submitted his Senate seat effective December 31, 2013. He will be sworn in as mayor of Seattle on January 1, 2014.

Linda Rapp

  <previous page   page: 1  2  3    

Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about Social Sciences

   Related Entries
social sciences >> Overview:  Domestic Partnerships

"Domestic partnership" is the generic term for a variety of forms of legal and institutional recognition of same-sex couples that fall short of same-sex marriage.

social sciences >> Overview:  Elected Officials

In the United States, glbtq candidates have achieved some significant successes at the ballot box in the last three decades, running for and winning local, state, and national elections.

social sciences >> Overview:  Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is home to a thriving and increasingly visible queer community that has provided leadership for Oregon glbtq activism since the 1960s.

social sciences >> Overview:  Roman Catholicism

Historically, the Roman Catholic Church may be the institution most responsible for the suffering of individuals involved in same-sex sexual relationships.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

social sciences >> Overview:  Seattle

A northwest commercial and shipping hub, Seattle has long attracted glbtq people and is now home to a vibrant glbtq community.

social sciences >> Frank, Barney

Openly gay U. S. congressman Barney Frank has been a leader not only in the cause of gay and lesbian rights but also on issues including fair housing, consumer rights, banking, and immigration.

social sciences >> Noble, Elaine

A dedicated lesbian activist in the early years of the gay liberation movement, Elaine Noble made history as the first openly gay candidate elected to a state-level office when she won a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1974.

social sciences >> Parker, Annise

In 2009, after a dozen years in elective office in Houston, Texas, Annise Parker won election to the mayoralty of the fourth-largest city in the United States, becoming the first open lesbian to lead a major American city.

social sciences >> Quinn, Christine

Christine Quinn is the first woman, the first openly gay person, and the first Irish-American to serve as the Speaker of the New York City Council. 


Brunner, Jim. "Mayoral Candidate Ed Murray Known for Collaborative Process." Seattle Times (July 24, 2013):

Feit, Josh. "The Education of Ed Murray." Seattle Met (December 19, 2012): /the-education-of-ed-murray-january-2013.

Galloway, Angela. "Rep. Murray's Toughest Challenge Is Transportation." Seattle Post-Intelligencer (April 11, 2003): /Rep-Murray-s-toughest-challenge-is-transportation-1112088.php.

Gunter, Julie. "Gay Washington Senator Remains Rooted in Faith." National Catholic Reporter (October 11, 2012): /gay-washington-senator/remains-rooted-faith.

Johnson, Kirk. "A Familiar Result in Seattle, as Voters Oust Mayor for the Third Time in 12 Years." New York Times (November 6, 2013): /seattle-voters-oust-mayor-for-third-time-in-12-years.html?_r=0.

_____. "Seattle's Mayor Faces Challenge, Despite Signs of Success." New York Times (November 4, 2013): /seattles-mayor-faces-challenge-despite-signs-of-success.html?_r=1&.

Mapes, Lynda V. "Spotlight Is Often on Gay Lawmaker--Ed Murray, Partner Unwitting Symbols." Seattle Times (February 15, 1998): http://community.seattletimes.nwsource/archive/?date-19980215&slug=2734749.

Thompson, Lynn. "Gay Rights Advocate Sen. Murray Marries Partner." Seattle Times (August 10, 2013): /2021586797_murrayweddingxml.html.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Murray, Edward B. ("Ed")   
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2013  
    Date Last Updated December 5, 2013  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2013 glbtq, Inc.  


This Entry Copyright © 2013 glbtq, Inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.