Jody Hall and Kelly Ring met in the usual way: riding around in a car topped with an enormous cupcake at the 2005 Pride Parade. Hall, owner and cupcake doyenne of Cupcake Royale, had pulled out all the stops to make sure her float was one of the sweetest in the parade. Hall and Ring were introduced by mutual friends, who thought they might like each other. Ring was impressed by Hall’s kindness. Hall was impressed by Ring’s honesty, by how clear she was that she wanted to stay home and raise children.
Hall and Ring were married on Vashon Island in 2007, in white dresses in front of 125 friends and family members. Together they are raising their 3-year-old son, Truman, in a tidy Craftsman bungalow on Capitol Hill.
They point to the inequality of the “everything but marriage” domestic partnership arrangement. Fighting for equality is not a foreign concept for Hall. She has been active in a grassroots effort to fight for better employee insurance coverage for small-business owners; in 2010 she was invited to speak at a press conference with President Obama and Senator Patty Murray. Hall employs 100 people at her six Cupcake Royale shops. “We run a business and pay taxes,” she says. “It seems odd that we don’t have the same rights.” Even the cupcakes are fighting back: For every “rainbow cupcake” purchased at Cupcake Royale, Hall donates $1 to Washington United for Marriage, an organization fighting for marriage equality. Each cupcake comes with a sticker that reads: “Baby, we were baked this way.”
While they have high hopes that voters will approve the referendum in November, they say the outcome will not really affect them. “It’s not necessary for us,” Hall explains. “Because we are already married,” Ring adds, finishing Hall’s sentence, as so often happens with married couples.