David Robison & Donald Kane: Twin Tartans

Local couples share their thoughts on the historic Referendum 74 vote, and on the nature of love.

David Robison and Donald Kane met in 2002 on a dating website. Kane is a programmer at Amazon.com, and Robison is a partner in a software company that creates computer-based training materials for surgeons. He also sits on the board of Rainbow Families of Puget Sound, a social organization comprising about 400 families with LGBT parents.

Kane had been in a long relationship before, but his partner passed away; Robison had not been with anyone for any length of time, but when he met Kane, he felt “ready.” Kane says of Robison: “He was a calm, honest person whom I could trust,” he says. “He is very intelligent—and he was a bagpiper.”

The bagpiping really sealed the deal, as Kane had done some Scottish country dancing as a child. In 2004, wearing matching kilts, they were legally married in Canada in front of 70 friends and family members. They adopted a son in 2006.

Though they would have preferred to have married in their home state, they opted for marriage in Canada, since that option wasn’t available here. “By and large, if you tell someone you are ‘civilly unioned’ with someone, they do not know what that means,” says Kane. “And ‘partner’ sounds like a business partner,” says Robison. “Everyone knows what ‘married’ means.”

Robison hopes that 20 years from now, gay marriage will not be an issue; that it will go the way of illegal interracial marriage. The Ballard couple is hopeful that Washington’s notoriously laissez-faire attitude will carry the day. “There’s a lot of strife around this issue everywhere else,” he says. “In Seattle, people don’t think it’s their business to tell you what to do.”

The couple has no big plans for celebration if the law is upheld at the polls. “We’ll probably go out to dinner,” says Robison. “But if it doesn’t pass, we’ll continue to fight.”