One 86-year-old Republican has become a YouTube hit, all because he supports his gay son’s right to marriage.
In the clip, Philip Spooner is helped to the podium and begins to address the Maine Judiciary Committee before others adjust the microphone for him to be heard. The hearing was a pro-gay marriage meeting held in April before Maine’s governor legalised gay marriage in June.
Watch the YouTube clip here:
For Spooner, it’s all about equality. Equality is what America was started for, says Spooner in his speech, and he saw too much inequality in World War II in the ‘ovens’ of Buchenwald and Dachau. Equal is also how Spooner raised his three straight and one gay son, who have all served in the military.
“My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that three of them would have certain rights and that the fourth of them would be left out,” says Spooner with a cracking voice.
“I am here because of a conversation I had last June, when I was voting. The woman at my polling place asked me, do I believe in equality for gay and lesbian people. I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her: what do you think I fought for on Omaha Beach?”
The state of Maine in the north-east USA legalised gay marriage in June this year, but in just two weeks the state will take a vote on whether to reverse Governor Baldacci’s decision.
“Even as I sign this important legislation into law, I recognise that this may not be the final word,” Governor Baldacci said at the time of signing. “Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law, it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the State belongs to the people. While the good and just people of Maine may determine this issue, my responsibility is to uphold the Constitution and do, as best as possible, what is right. I believe that signing this legislation is the right thing to do.”
“I was raised to believe all men are created equal and I have never forgotten that,” said Spooner in his speech last April. “It makes no sense that some people who love each other can marry and others can’t, just because of who they are.”