Referendum 74 hits home at BC and beyond

Brian Foster is an advisor and transfer specialist here at Bellevue College, and Nathan Roberts is the current advisor for the International Student Programs.  They first met about a year ago on College Issues Day and later had their first date. when Brian asked Nathan for coffee.  Roughly a year after this first coffee date, the duo is engaged to be married.

Following the coffee date, the relationship really took off for the two men and they started dating. After about three weeks of dating, Roberts flew off to Egypt for a little trip and came home with the intentions of breaking it off with Foster.  However, something inside Nathan told him to just go for it . “I just decided to give it a go,” said Roberts.  “I’m glad I did.”  The couple quickly fell in love early in the new year of 2012.

Now the couple is engaged to be married and is buying a home in the next week.  The couple hasn’t thought much about the future.  The engagement and the house are big and taking up most of their thoughts, Foster explained. “It’s pretty much our entire world.” The couple also mentioned about getting a puppy soon and maybe, in the far future, having kids. “I’m thirty-two,” said Roberts, “and Brian is thirty. We have time to think about kids.”

The big obstacle in their way is the R-74 initiative on the ballot.  If passed, gay marriage will be legal in the state of Washington, allowing the couple to be recognized state-wide as married.  “If it isn’t passed we plan on still having a ceremony for domestic partners.” “The ceremony will still be important to us, family and friends.” The couple hopes that R-74 will make people more aware and more open-minded towards gay rights, and will vote on the initiative.

Both Foster and Roberts commented on how refreshing it is to be at BC.  Roberts was pursuing a career in the medical field but switched to higher education due to the close minded atmosphere he was in contact with. Foster was also in a similar situation as an elementary school teacher, commenting that the environment was “hostile.”

The couple made it clear that they want students to feel safe in coming to talk with either of them, as they are allies and friends.  They also want to encourage students to come and have a conversation or to seek help.  The most important thing Foster and Roberts emphasized was to be “aware” of your surroundings.  Many people, even family members, aren’t even aware that gay marriage is legal in only a few states, Roberts explained.

The library has a list of allies and people who have “out-ed” themselves, Roberts described. Individuals can get ahold of it and contact anyone if they would like to talk.