The Youth Shall Set You Free

Your friendly neighborhood Gay Place gets all viral with an exclusive interview with founder Amy Balliett.

Happy young marrieds (just don't tell the Mormons) Jessica and Amy
Happy young marrieds (just don't tell the Mormons) Jessica and Amy (photo courtesy Amy Balliett,

Your friendly neighborhood Gay Place has gone national, securing a slot on today's front page of MTV-Logo's

We are chuffed beyond all recognition to have landed an exclusive interview with the heretofore mysterious founder of Join the Impact, the grassroots movement that is poised to infuse and enthuse the queer rights debate.

Consider it reparative therapy after the sickening passing of Props… Oh, we all know which ones they were, and where they were passed, and how much people hate us, yet feel they can infiltrate our lives with their petty religious bigotry.

So, for the sake of mental health, this week, I went viral. I joined up with Join the Impact, the web-based activism site for organizing the protests that these defeats have spawned. With every click, I began to feel energized at the prospect of witnessing a national movement in its infancy.

The question on everyone's lips this week was: Who the heck is behind this thing and how did they get the word out so fast? So we began emailing and calling every contact we could find on the networking site. Then we found her. Or more precisely, she found us.

We hope you enjoy reading about Join the Impact founder Amy Balliett as much as we enjoyed interviewing her. We've included an excerpt after the jump.

Amy Balliett on the topic du jour, Gay Marriage:

"It was very important for us to have as many loved ones present at our wedding. Since we can't have the laws of our own government bind us together for life, we needed to have the laws of our family bind us together for life.

"In marriage, God and family keep us accountable. But government is supposed to provide the rights to help us stay accountable. If we are outside of Washington state, for example, and one of us goes into the hospital, the absence of those rights makes it impossible to be able to take care of each other and to live up to the commitments we have made to one another, she says.

And with this simple, yet thoughtful assertion, this passionate 26-year-old has managed to reframe the entire marriage debate. The framework is respect.

For in acknowledging the role of religious community – or at least personal spiritual choice – in the marriage debate, Balliett defers not out of fear, but out of honor.

"The government has to provide the rights," she says. "The churches should define what they want to call those rights. But any citizen engaging in a consensual relationship with someone they want to spend the rest of their life with should have to choose the church that is going to give them the type of marriage they wish to have."

Read the full story at

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Election 2008, Amy Balliett, Join the Impact, activist,, Seattle, National Protest

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