By Gazelle Emami
Philip Spooner is a lifetime Republican, World War II veteran and, to everyone's surprise, a gay marriage supporter. The 86-year-old gave a heartfelt speech in support of gay marriage to Maine's Judiciary Committee back in April, and the video has just now become an internet hit.
Spooner's voice wavers often as he weaves his own life story into the speech, using his experience as a soldier as his main defense for gay marriage. He lists his accomplishments in the war, among them serving in Patton's Third Army and carrying POWs back home, making it clear that he's a true American -- and according to Spooner, there's nothing more American than fighting for equality.
I am here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman at my polling place asked me, "Do you believe in equal, 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 our boys fought for at Omaha Beach?" I haven't seen much, so much blood and guts, so much suffering, much sacrifice. For what? For freedom and equality. These are the values that give America a great nation, one worth dying for.