Washington Gay Marriage: Republican Representative Maureen Walsh Speaks Out in Favor of Same Sex Marriage
My friends. Most of you know I am a fiscal conservative. I often call myself a MODERATE Republican.
However, I am often NOT proud of what my party does-- really what a minority in my party does--that reflects on me. I have often shuddered at the ugliness of what certain outspoken Tea Party advocates shout or the bigotry and close-mindedness of fringe parts of the Christian Right push on to the Republican agenda.
I have even considered switching to the Libertarian party. But today?
Today, after watching the testimony of Washington Republican Representative Maureen Walsh, I am in love.
I love her bravery.
I love her ability to go against the grain of our party and do what is right.
What is fair. What is equal.
How often do we see partisan politics force politicians to tout the party line or coalesce, moving away from the center? It's hard to move away from the pack. Just look at California's Proposition 8. Yes, it's hard to disagree, but not impossible.
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 consciousness 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.