Friday Feminist Fuck Yeah: GOP Rep speaks out for gay marriage in Washington

Via Shakesville, here’s a speech that will make you cry a bunch of times.

Representative Maureen Walsh is one of two Republicans in the Washington House who voted to pass the same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday. Before the vote, she took the floor to say she was allowing her heart to guide her on this one and described her daughter who came out recently: “She’s still a fabulous human being and she met someone she loves very much. And some day, by God, I want to throw a wedding for that kid. And someday I hope that’s what I can do.”

Washington’s Governor is expected to sign the marriage equality bill into law on Monday. Here’s to #7!

Transcript after the jump.

Transcript via Buzzfeed

I don’t wax as eloquently as most of the people on the floor here, but I have allowed my heart and mind to guide me on a lot of different decisions I’ve made in the legislature. I think sometimes that’s what we have to do.

I too don’t want to wag my finger at anybody about which way to vote on this. It’s certainly an issue of conscience for me that I’ve been weighing very heavily for the past few weeks.

You know, I was married for 23 years to the love of my life and he died 6 years ago. I think of all the wonderful years we had and the wonderful fringe benefits of having 3 beautiful children. I don’t miss the sex, and to me that’s kind of what this boils down to. I don’t miss that… I mean I certainly miss it, but it’s certainly not the aspect of that relationship, that incredible bond I had with that human being, that I really really genuinely wish I still had. And so I just think to myself: how could I deny anyone the right to have that incredible bond with another individual in life. To me it seems almost cruel.

Years ago my daughter went to elementary school. Many of you have met my daughter she’s a fabulous girl, she’s wonderful, my boys are great too, but she’s really something special. She was the light of her father’s eye.

So she went to school and there were a whole group of kids picking on another kid, and you know, my daughter stuck up for that kid. Even though it wasn’t the popular thing to do it was the right thing to do. I was never more proud of my kid than knowing she was speaking against the vocal majority on behalf of the rights of the minority. And to me, it is incumbent upon us as legislators in this state to do that. That is why we are here.

And I shudder to think that if folks who had preceded us in history did not do that, frankly I’m not sure I would be here as a woman. I’m not sure other people would be here due to their race or creed. And to me that is what’s disconcerting.

And someone made the comment that this is not about equality. Well yes it is about equality. And why in the world would be not allow those equal rights for individuals who are truly committed to one another in life to be able to show that in the way of a marriage.

My daughter came out of the closet a couple of years ago and you know what I thought I was going to agonize about that. Nothing’s different. She’s still a fabulous human being and she met someone she loves very much. And some day, by God, I want to throw a wedding for that kid. And someday I hope that’s what I can do. I hope she will not feel like a second-class citizen involved in something called a “domestic partnership” which frankly sounds like a Mary Maids franchise to me.

Thank you Mr. Speaker. That’s all I want to say.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted February 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Tiny nitpick: It’s “Merry Maids,” not “Mary Maids.”

    That speech made me cry. What a testament to the fact that when we open our hearts to love, bigotry and prejudice have no room.

  2. Posted February 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    She was AMAZING (!) and so refreshing in the House (the opposition in the form of misguided state reps made the discourse significantly less civil than the State Senate debate) – Looking forward to the bill signing on Monday! …of course remembering that there is a long road ahead (WA’s initiative laws almost insure an anti-equality ballot initiative for Nov).

    • Posted February 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      You’re right that there is a long, ugly and bigoted road ahead. This is about to be really depressing. Carpetbaggers from all over the country are already pouring money into WA with the hope of thwarting this. Ironically, it looks like they’re in for a surprise on more than one front. The latest polls show that the majority of Washingtonians will vote for marriage equality, with the added benefit of drawing more progressive voters to the polls for general elections. Traditionally, in my home state of WA at least, higher voter turnout results in progressive victories. Social conservatives are putting this on the ballot at their own risk. Marijuana legalization in WA and the presidency will be on the same ballot, and WA goes progressive the vast majority of the time. I’m SO looking forward to watching this backfire big time.

  3. Posted February 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Wow. An awesome politician, woman, person, and Mom. I hope more people like her are out there

  4. Posted February 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Sigh…I love my state.

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