Philip Spooner’s testimony on behalf of LGBT marriage equality before the Maine legislature has become a YouTube phenomenon. I ran it in the sidebar here some time ago, but (like PamÂ Spaulding), I’m inspired to run it again today. (More Spoonerism yesterday at the LA Times.)
A full transcription of what he said is over at this post at Box Turtle Bulletin. Here’s some of it:
I am 86 years old, a lifetime Republican, and an active VFW Chaplan. I still serve three hospitals and two nursing homes, and I also serve Meals on Wheels for nine years. My wife of 54 years, Jenny, died in 1997. Together we had four children including one gay son. All four of our boys were in service.
I was born on a potato farm north of Caribou and Perham, where I was raised to believe that all men are created equal, and I never forgot that. I served in the U.S. Army in 1942 to 1945, in the First Army as a medic and as an ambulance driver. I worked with every outfit over there including Pattonâ€™s Third Army. I saw action in all five major battles in Europe including the Battle of the Bulge. My unit was awarded a Presidential Citation for transporting more patients with fewer actions than any other ambulance unit in Europe. And I was in the liberation of Paris. After the war, I carried POWs back from Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia, and also hauled hundreds of injured Germans back to Germany.
Iâ€™m here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman at my polling place asked me, â€œDo you believe in equality of gay and lesbian people?â€
I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, â€œWhat do you think our boys fought for on Omaha Beach?â€
For the first time in U.S. electoral history, Maine could turn the tide today and defend LGBT rights (wrongly, as yet incessantly) up for popular vote. I am ready for that tide to turn. Ãœber number-cruncher Nate Silver seems to think it will.
Me, I’ll be holding my breath all day. Â And saying the obvious: ifÂ any of you know anyone (who might know anyone who might know anyone) who lives in Maine, please call to help get out the vote.
Our eyes are on you and our hearts are with you in Maine, in Kalamazoo, MI, and in Washington State. (Louise, Pam’s House Blend is a fierce Maine ally, has been all over this the whole time. Here’s her post on the last day of the campaign there. [Update: and a few more here, “Maine News Updates, Tidbits, and Rumors,” and here, “Final Newspaper Clippings/Maine Blog Stories.”] Don Davis at Bilerico has a comprehensive day-of analysis of Washington’s Ref. 71 polling here.)