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Maureen Walsh's Moment
February 9, 2012 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Republican state rep. Maureen Walsh (WA, 16th District) gives a heartbreakingly earnest speech on behalf of marriage equality.
posted by hermitosis (107 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was very sweet.
posted by obloquy at 11:22 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Walla Walla represent(ative)!
posted by mrnutty at 11:25 AM on February 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Let's see how long she gets to be a Republican.
posted by Naberius at 11:25 AM on February 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


I saw a bunch of quotes from that trickle through my Twitter feed, but I hadn't actually seen the whole thing. How lovely.
posted by epersonae at 11:26 AM on February 9, 2012


Bless her.
posted by New England Cultist at 11:29 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Very well said, and not just because I happen to agree with her.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:31 AM on February 9, 2012


Let's see how long she gets to be a Republican.
It's kind of funny how Republicans have turned their backs on the family unit just because it's not their typical family unit. Strong families united by marriage are the building block of society to them and the decline of the family unit is supposedly responsible for America's social ills. You would think they would be foaming at the mouth to rebuild all family values as an inclusive thing to bring more people into the tent.

But instead they've hitched their wagon to racism and bigotry. Oh well.
posted by Talez at 11:32 AM on February 9, 2012 [16 favorites]


Bless her, indeed. That's the kind of mom I want to be.
posted by KathrynT at 11:32 AM on February 9, 2012


they've hitched their wagon to racism and bigotry

And it's been working for them ever since Nixon's 'Southern Strategy'. Just another way for power-hungry politicians to get stupid people to follow them mindlessly. If it didn't work, they wouldn't do it. But then, that's America's problem.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:37 AM on February 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


I was really touched by this quote:
How could I deny anyone the right to have that incredible bond with another individual in life? To me, it seems almost cruel.
but to me, she gets to the heart of the issue with this one:
... speaking against the vocal majority on behalf of the rights of the minority. To me, it is incumbent upon us as legislators in this state to do that. That is WHY WE ARE HERE.
Often, arguments for marriage equality highlight the unfairness of denying an expression of love and commitment to homosexual couples. Whie I completely agree with the sentiment (and I'd cut out the "almost"; it is flat-out cruel), that doesn't seem to me to be the central issue. The central issue, surely, is that marriage inequality denies a reasonable, basic right (and its emotional, social, financial, and legal advantages) to a large population of adults.

While marriage itself may be about love, marriage equality is not: it is about the right to marry for whatever reason the individuals choose. When I married my husband, no one assessed our right to marry based on our love or our commitment or any of the emotional aspects of our relationship; we were legally entitled to marriage as unmarried adults, for whatever reasons we privately decided. That is what marriage equality is about.
posted by Elsa at 11:39 AM on February 9, 2012 [37 favorites]


The only thing I disagreed with was her statement that she didn't wax eloquent. That was about as eloquent a thing as I have heard in a long, long time.

She's a great lady, legislator and mom.
posted by Leezie at 11:39 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Almost cruel?"

You're almost there, sweetie.

I know that the tide shifts every day, but it is starting to feel like a major tipping point. (That decision the other day helped a lot.)

To be honest, I was a little disappointed to find out at the end the woman had a dog in the fight. There's nothing wrong with her wanting to throw her daughter a wedding, but goddammit, we need more straight heteros with straight hetero kids standing up for equal marriage rights for EVERYONE.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:41 AM on February 9, 2012 [26 favorites]


Why is this woman a district representative in the state legislature?
She should be a her state Senator in Washington!
posted by Flood at 11:42 AM on February 9, 2012


That was fantastic and brave and right-on.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:42 AM on February 9, 2012


for whatever reasons we privately decided. That is what marriage equality is about.

Amen. That is what it's all about. (emphasis mine)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:43 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


She's absolutely right. Sane people know she's right. Nthing the bless her sentiment.

But (at the risking of throwing cold water on this), with a gay daughter, she has a dog in this fight. While I don't see any obvious reasons to cast aspersions, would she feel differently if that wasn't the case?

At least she has an empathetic side. So many of our leaders and citizens don't seem to know what empathy means anymore.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:46 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


She's a lot more gracious to those who disagree on the subject than I am. I'm at a point where I can't even see the point of being civil about this anymore. Either you're a bigot or you're not, y'know? And either you understand what the 1st Amendment says, or you don't think it really applies when it gives you the willies. Good on her for having the courage of her convictions.

(Though I kept imagining the spirit of her husband standing next to her, looking mortified when she told everyone she didn't really miss the sex.)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:46 AM on February 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


As far as having a dog in the fight goes, though...is my stance on gay rights (as a straight guy) at all invalid because I have gay friends? Or because I've dated women who were bi? I tried to come up with some sarcastic comment about her being biased because she knew someone who was gay whom she was already pre-disposed to see as a human being, but I just couldn't work it out...The thing that the homophobes in our society need to come to grips with is that there are a lot more LBGT people in their lives than they realize.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:48 AM on February 9, 2012 [20 favorites]


I kept imagining the spirit of her husband standing next to her, looking mortified when she told everyone she didn't really miss the sex.

Think about how much sadder it would be the other way around: "As a person I could take or leave him, but I do really miss the sex."
posted by hermitosis at 11:50 AM on February 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


That was beautiful. Thanks for posting this.
posted by brundlefly at 11:50 AM on February 9, 2012


I kept imagining the spirit of her husband standing next to her, looking mortified

That is definitely the correct adjective, there.
posted by echo target at 11:53 AM on February 9, 2012 [15 favorites]


Sadly, her wonderful speech will be cut and chopped into bits by her opponents in the next primary, to extract just the right sound-bite guaranteed to offend the malignant base.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:55 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


But (at the risking of throwing cold water on this), with a gay daughter, she has a dog in this fight. While I don't see any obvious reasons to cast aspersions, would she feel differently if that wasn't the case?

maybe, but isn't that true for all of us on all issues? aren't we shaped by our histories and experiences? some of us pop out of the womb, fully formed civil rights fighters, but some of us need a path to get there. sometimes the path is being a little queer yourself, or having a gay friend, or watching a lifetime movie, or going to the laramie project. sometimes it's a gay child.

besides, i don't think it's just the gay child that brought her around - i believe her when she said that it's also related to her husband's passing. if i were an older conservative christian woman, both of those events would give me pause and make me reconsider my position, i'd think. i'm glad she was courageous enough to not keep repeating the party line and to publicly stand in support of not only her daughter, but every gay person in her state, and to some degree every gay person in the country. she has a dog in this fight, but she's the one who chose to show it.
posted by nadawi at 11:58 AM on February 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


Again, because oneswellfoop really nailed it:

Just another way for power-hungry politicians to get stupid people to follow them mindlessly. If it didn't work, they wouldn't do it. But then, that's America's problem.

Yes, it is. And it always has been. It's getting better... except for the party that openly ridicules "hope and change" - and doesn't that act speak volumes?
posted by IAmBroom at 11:59 AM on February 9, 2012


She's a conservative. Of course she's doing it because she has a gay daughter. It's how conservatives think. If they were capable of empathising with other people's situations they wouldn't be conservatives. See also prison reform and conservatives in jail, freedom of abortion and conservatives with pregnant teenage daughters, etc.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:00 PM on February 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


As far as having a dog in the fight goes, though...is my stance on gay rights (as a straight guy) at all invalid because I have gay friends?

Not at all, it's just not very unique. We've seen a million (OK, hundreds of) well-dressed conservative folks with GLBT family members or close friends talk about why marriage equality is important.

We haven't heard many GOP politicians at any level without GLBT family members talk about why marriage equality is important.

That's what I was hoping for, and that would indicate a pretty significant shift, imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:00 PM on February 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Reminded me of when Republican San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders made a statement on why he wasn't going to veto the city council resolution in support of gay marriage. Since then he's gone on to testify in favor of gay marriage in the Perry v California case. And he's also is a chair (and the only Republican. When Bloomberg left the republican party, San Diego became the largest city in the country with a Republican mayor) of the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. He wasn't recalled or impeached. In fact, he was re-elected the next year.

Deciding to do the right thing doesn't have to be political suicide. I'm sure there's bigots in her district that are mad at her today, but she did gain some points from pre-marriage equality folks in her district that might make up for it. I'm happy that she's seen the light and came out supporting this law. It is a great moment for Washington.

And Washingtonians should be grateful they don't have a way to have a Proposition 8 to take away people's rights like we do here in California.
posted by birdherder at 12:02 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought she included the part about her daughter as a tacit acknowledgement that she's had to take time to come to terms with it--the comment about saying she thought she'd "agonize" about it, but realized that her daughter is still her daughter and she still wants to give her daughter everything she would've had as a straight woman. Also as a subtle reminder of what scaryblackdeath's point (whether you know it or not, the way you vote on this will affect someone you care about.)

I lived in California during the brief legalization and then Prop 8 and the subsequent protests and beginnings of the court battle, and now I live in Washington state while watching this, and it has been quite the roller coaster.
posted by kagredon at 12:04 PM on February 9, 2012


I kept imagining the spirit of her husband standing next to her, looking mortified when she told everyone she didn't really miss the sex.

Think about how much sadder it would be the other way around: "As a person I could take or leave him, but I do really miss the sex."


This is the most depressing game theory lecture I've ever been to.
posted by griphus at 12:06 PM on February 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


We haven't heard many GOP politicians at any level without GLBT family members talk about why marriage equality is important.

Don't really need any more than that to get it in most states. Just 100% of democrats and a few republicans who vote in their own self interest..
posted by empath at 12:06 PM on February 9, 2012


Sadly, her wonderful speech will be cut and chopped into bits by her opponents in the next primary, to extract just the right sound-bite guaranteed to offend the malignant base.

OTOH, a few state senators in NY can talk about having new friends as a result of their votes for SSM here. And the party as a whole can look forward to gay-friendly money not being deployed against them in November. The "what's best for my electoral future" strategy here is not always as clear as you'd think.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:07 PM on February 9, 2012


On (not) preview: And Washingtonians should be grateful they don't have a way to have a Proposition 8 to take away people's rights like we do here in California.

Actually, there is an initiative system here as well, but I believe the 9th Circuit ruling would also apply in WA (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't overrule it.)
posted by kagredon at 12:07 PM on February 9, 2012


Sadly, her wonderful speech will be cut and chopped into bits by her opponents in the next primary, to extract just the right sound-bite guaranteed to offend the malignant base.

I'm sure the piles of money she gets from gay marriage supporters will go a long way toward salving that wound.
posted by empath at 12:08 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: offend the malignant base.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:09 PM on February 9, 2012


And Washingtonians should be grateful they don't have a way to have a Proposition 8 to take away people's rights like we do here in California.

Washington allows initiatives.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:10 PM on February 9, 2012


But (at the risking of throwing cold water on this), with a gay daughter, she has a dog in this fight. While I don't see any obvious reasons to cast aspersions, would she feel differently if that wasn't the case?
JOSH: You know, it's going to seem to some people like you did it 'cause your daughter asked you to.

BARTLET: You know, Josh, I think if you ever have a daughter, you're going to discover there are worse reasons in the world to do something.

The West Wing - "Ellie"
posted by Navelgazer at 12:14 PM on February 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


Let's see how long she gets to be a Republican.

Two words: turning point.
posted by New England Cultist at 12:16 PM on February 9, 2012


Deciding to do the right thing doesn't have to be political suicide.

Yes. Color me cynical, but I think that she felt safe enough politically to make this speech (I don't even know what her district is), or she wouldn't have made it. That fact alone also signifies a major shift in public opinion.

The old bigots are dying and they aren't getting replaced (at least not in nearly as many numbers). That's all there is to it.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:17 PM on February 9, 2012


You know, Josh, I think if you ever have a daughter, you're going to discover there are worse reasons in the world to do something.

Absolutely, it's just so old news by now.

Politicians With Lesbian Daughters: the Hot New Trend? ... October 8, 2004
posted by mrgrimm at 12:19 PM on February 9, 2012


You're almost there, sweetie.

I'm pretty sure it's not cool to refer to anyone you don't know as "sweetie", but more importantly, way to miss the point. "Hey you agree with me, but not in the way I want you to" is one reason why the Left never can seem to get its act together.
posted by spaltavian at 12:19 PM on February 9, 2012 [37 favorites]


welcome to the right side of history
posted by nathancaswell at 12:20 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let's see how long she gets to be a Republican.

(affects John Oliver voice) Is someone here going to point at her and chant RINO RINO RINO? Anyone? (waves microphone around)

But (at the risking of throwing cold water on this), with a gay daughter, she has a dog in this fight. While I don't see any obvious reasons to cast aspersions, would she feel differently if that wasn't the case?

This. Not to say that it's a bad thing that this woman has discovered empathy even if it's for someone she already has a close connection to. It usually takes some kind of epiphany to find it otherwise, and the Republican base seems desperate to avoid those kinds of holy insights.
posted by JHarris at 12:28 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can we all agree that wake-up up calls are welcome no matter what route they take?
posted by New England Cultist at 12:30 PM on February 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


Also note: Maureen Walsh did what Dick Cheney did not.
posted by JHarris at 12:30 PM on February 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


I generally am not all that picky about why people change for the better, I'm just glad when they do.
posted by jonmc at 12:34 PM on February 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Can we all agree that wake-up up calls are welcome no matter what route they take?

Of course. I just wish people would wake up themselves. To look at one's own opinions and examine them, thinking, "Am I right? Are those beliefs I was given by my surroundings correct?"
posted by JHarris at 12:36 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's always nice to mark yet another bit of progress on the gay marriage front.

Yesterday I read a Salon.com article on Maggie Gallagher. The author of the piece quoted an unnamed anti-gay marriage colleague of Gallagher as saying (slight paraphrase here), "The battle is over. There may be some small victories here and there for us, but we have lost."

And it's true. Every poll taken in the U.S. and Canada shows that public approval for gay marriage is rising, slowly but surely. The tide of public opinion is turning towards allowing gay marriage, and though it can't come fast enough to serve justice, it will not be stopped. And we're going to see the die hard anti-gay marriage camp get increasingly shrill and desperate, but it will matter less and less.
posted by orange swan at 12:36 PM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not snarking, but are there any republican politicians who have come out in favor of gay marriage without having a gay relative/friend/lover revealed?
posted by Challahtronix at 12:37 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Steve Saland cast the deciding vote for marriage equity in NY. He's a Republican and his public explanations seem to be about equality and fairness rather than any particular gay person. I'm going off his Wikipedia page and I would link but I'm on a slow glitchy phone.
posted by Biblio at 12:46 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not snarking, but are there any republican politicians who have come out in favor of gay marriage without having a gay relative/friend/lover revealed?

Mark Grisanti
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:52 PM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Naberius: "Let's see how long she gets to be a Republican."

If New York is any indicator, the proponents of that state's marriage bill (from both parties) have actually fared very well. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's approval ratings are almost astronomically high among members of both parties.
posted by schmod at 12:55 PM on February 9, 2012


Of course. I just wish people would wake up themselves. To look at one's own opinions and examine them, thinking, "Am I right? Are those beliefs I was given by my surroundings correct?"

Almost none of us do this in a vacuum, though. Our opinions are challenged by what we read and see, and by people we know, and ideally we take those opportunities to ask ourselves why we believe what we do, and, given additional information, if the belief is correct/ethical/etc.

If it hadn't been her daughter, it might have been one of her aides, or a constituent, or the guy who washes her car every week, or just the cumulative effect of It Gets Better videos, constituent meetings, and pro-gay marriage op eds. I think that being open to changing our minds based on what other humans communicate to us is pretty great.

And congratulations, WA!
posted by rtha at 1:00 PM on February 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


In New York, four Republicans voted 'yes'. From their statements, it doesn't sound like it was because something was revealed in any way:

From here:
“I have defined doing the right thing as treating all persons with equality,” Saland said. “And that equality includes the definition of marriage. I fear that to do otherwise would fly in the face of my upbringing.”
And from here:
With his position still undeclared, Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo who had sought office promising to oppose same-sex marriage, told his colleagues he had agonized for months before concluding he had been wrong.

“I apologize for those who feel offended,” Mr. Grisanti said, adding, “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”
From here:
"You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing," McDonald, 64, told reporters.

"You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing.

"I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."
From here (by Sen. Alesi):
I went out, and as I sat there I knew I was voting against what I believed. I knew I was voting against what was in my heart. I knew I was voting against what I thought was right not just for me, not only for New York, but for America.

It was very, very hard for me.

Some people say it was theatrical. If that was theatrical I’m in New York so I’m going to get my SAG card. It was very hard.

I did promise myself I would never vote “no” again, no matter what the circumstances were.
posted by griphus at 1:01 PM on February 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there is a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription drugs, and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief -- It is that fundamental belief: I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.


B. Obama - DNC 2004 Keynote speech

Seems to me we all have a dog in this fight. Way to go, Representative Walsh.
posted by blurker at 1:01 PM on February 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Not snarking, but are there any republican politicians who have come out in favor of gay marriage without having a gay relative/friend/lover revealed?

Here in NY, Roy McDonald was one of three Republican state senators to support marriage equality:
"You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad and you try to do the right thing," McDonald, 64, told reporters.

"You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, f--- it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing.

"I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing and that's where I'm going with this."
posted by lalex at 1:02 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


What a wonderful speech. We could use more fair-minded Republicans in the United States, however they come to understand notions of fairness and empathize with people who are not treated equally under the law. I had to write Rep. Walsh a thank-you note:
I viewed your eloquent and heartfelt speech on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbmbdWK6338) and, though I am not in your district, I wanted to express my appreciation for your vote in favor of basic fairness and equality. Washington is a better state for your efforts.
If you live in WA, or in her district, and you want to do the same, you can contact her office from this page.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:08 PM on February 9, 2012


Washingtonians should be grateful they don't have a way to have a Proposition 8 to take away people's rights like we do here in California.

Washington Secretary of State FAQ on pending gay-marriage referendum - it's possible to petition to overturn any law passed by the state legislature, and anti-marriage groups are planning on starting that process pretty much right away. (There was even an amendment proposed to the original bill to just send it directly to referendum, but that didn't pass.) By the end of June we'll know whether they've gotten enough signatures for it to be on November's ballot.
posted by epersonae at 1:10 PM on February 9, 2012


> She's a conservative. Of course she's doing it because she has a gay daughter. It's how conservatives think. If they were capable of empathising with other people's situations they wouldn't be conservatives.

This is idiotic. Most conservatives, like most people, are capable of empathy. They're human and think, reason and have emotions like other people. If you had a capacity empathy here, you might notice that they aren't all alike and that they act according to their perceived self-interest, even if their perceived self-interest is different from yours.

That the other people are just inferior and inhuman is never a good explanation for political differences.
posted by nangar at 1:14 PM on February 9, 2012 [21 favorites]


Also eloquent, in his own way: Howard Stern
posted by brain_drain at 1:18 PM on February 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Most conservatives, like most people, are capable of empathy.

And there are plenty of people with gay children/family members, etc., who have no empathy for them at all.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:19 PM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Damnit, I watched it and was crying at the end of it, it's beautiful, I'm so glad that she wasn't such a turd that she'd throw her daughter under the bus, as so many parents absolutely would, thoughtlessly would, carelessly would. No, she loved her daughter, listened, shut herself up so she could listen, and she grew through it. A powerful story, told beautifully.

And then I come in here and find out all the ways she's got it wrong.

Come ON. She got it right. She didn't get there how you got there, or how I got there, but she got there. And then she stood up. And told us. Told everybody. Told everybody about it honestly, In a place where everything is traded, where there is no integrity, where everything is all bullshit, this woman stood up and told the world her truth.

I admire her, I'm proud of her, I'm so glad her daughter has this loving woman in her life.

It could be better, I so desperately wish that change were faster. But. She has changed. Her words will make it a bit easier for someone else.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:33 PM on February 9, 2012 [25 favorites]


I am much happier that a politician is basing a position on love and compassion, even if it's for someone she would be expected to love and feel compassion towards, than on the cynical calculus of power-grabbing.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:38 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: ^ Just 100% of democrats and a few republicans who vote in their own self interest.
posted by tzikeh at 1:46 PM on February 9, 2012


But (at the risking of throwing cold water on this), with a gay daughter, she has a dog in this fight. While I don't see any obvious reasons to cast aspersions, would she feel differently if that wasn't the case?

Dick Cheney didn't when he was in office.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:49 PM on February 9, 2012


Dick Cheney didn't when he was in office.

Yeah. Principle without empathy can be a dangerous thing, no? While I'm happy that this representative reached the conclusion she did (and said so, I think), the why is not automatically unimportant.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:54 PM on February 9, 2012


This is idiotic. Most conservatives, like most people, are capable of empathy. They're human and think, reason and have emotions like other people.

HAH! Then why do they vote as a block in favor of the interests of such a small percentage of the U.S. population? Why do all their presidential candidates defend the "sanctity of marriage" as if it were almost part of the party platform? Why are they so quick to demonize entire groups of people?! Why are they so quick to stamp out public health care?! If they are capable of empathy, then why the HELL do they so often choose to not display it?!

You are merely trotting out the party line here. Generally elected Republicans do show empathy less often than others, they practically select for it! And when they do show it, it often takes a paternal, condescending tone.

I say all of these things as one who was once on the Republicans' side. They now fill me with revulsion. Part of that was personal growth I think, but the Republicans also become much worse since right around the time Bush was elected. And one doesn't have to be a staunch Democrat to see it!
posted by JHarris at 2:01 PM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Please, is it at all fair to discuss whysomeone has the right stance? She tells her story in a way that must appeal to thousands of families, and not least thousands of mothers across America. What in the name of the Lord can be wrong about that?
I shared this earlier today on facebook and I can see it means a lot to gay friends, even if they aren't American. Go Ms Walsh!
posted by mumimor at 2:04 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Almost cruel?" You're almost there, sweetie.

I was just thinking about this, and before I read any of the sure-to-be-there above comments above criticizing my choice of address there, I'll criticize myself here and say that "sweetie" comes off as condescending and patriarchal. I'm sorry.

People who know me know that I'm just as likely to call a 60-year-old man "sweetie" in this case (i.e. a somewhat naive person) as I am a 60-year-old woman, but I still shouldn't have said it publicly. I'm sorry, Ms. Walsh.

... checks ... huh, ok.

I'm pretty sure it's not cool to refer to anyone you don't know as "sweetie"

I could care less about that. I would care, however, if the term offends women (or Ms. Walsh), which it probably did/does. I'm sorry, fellow MetaFilterers.


And we're going to see the die hard anti-gay marriage camp get increasingly shrill and desperate

I really don't think so. I think we'll see them get old and further demented, and their voices will get quieter and quieter. Think of anti-misceganists.

And then I come in here and find out all the ways she's got it wrong.

Not sure I've read anyone here say she is wrong at all. She's absolutely right.

All the critics/cynics are saying is that her words are qualified by her self-interest, just as anyone's words about anything always are.

What do I take away from this speech? She wants her daughter to be allowed to marry (more cynically, she wants to throw her a wedding ;)

What do I take away from Cory Booker's impromptu (though clearly pre-written) speech? Civil rights shouldn't be determined by popular vote, and GLBTs are second-class citizens just as blacks once were.

Neither one is a good Metafilter post, though. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 2:04 PM on February 9, 2012


Most conservatives, like most people, are capable of empathy.

And there are plenty of people with gay children/family members, etc., who have no empathy for them at all.

As a gay daughter of a mom who decidedly does not feel any empathy for me, I am A-ok with anyone coming around on this because someone close to them is affected by inequality. I would be delighted for my mom to change her mind solely because of me. Alas.
posted by vakker at 2:07 PM on February 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


Please, is it at all fair to discuss whysomeone has the right stance? She tells her story in a way that must appeal to thousands of families, and not least thousands of mothers across America. What in the name of the Lord can be wrong about that?

How does commenting on motivation make something "wrong."

Why on Earth shouldn't we speculate on people's motivations for their actions?

Please, is it at all fair to discuss whysomeone has the right stance?

Senator votes for bill on provision A because it includes completely unrelated provision B. Why someone claims he is pro-provision A issue, is it not fair to say "well, not really"?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:07 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks everyone for those NY marriage election cites, I only remembered the story about Carl Kruger.
posted by Challahtronix at 2:23 PM on February 9, 2012


Why on Earth shouldn't we speculate on people's motivations for their actions?

I'm not sure. I agree that simply speculating on someone's motivations isn't "wrong", per se. I think it's generally a good idea to question why our politicians are voting the way they do, especially if there's a reasonable suspicion that they're corrupt and their vote has been bought.

But that's not what happened here, is it? I'm not personally concerned that Maureen Walsh might have been bought off by the uber-powerful Gay Mafia. I don't even really care that she finally came to the right decision because of her daughter's influence on her. It makes me roll my eyes a little and go, "Pfff, of course, gotta hit close to home to make an impact," but... isn't that true of all of us, even in tiny ways?

Frankly, I do not care how Ms. Walsh arrived at her feelings on marriage equality. I only care that she pushed herself out of her mental comfort zone far enough to realize that she was wrong, and to vote yes on equal marriage rights instead of pushing down that niggling doubt in her mind and voting no without thinking.
posted by palomar at 2:31 PM on February 9, 2012


It makes me roll my eyes a little and go, "Pfff, of course, gotta hit close to home to make an impact," but... isn't that true of all of us, even in tiny ways?

Absolutely. If I had not grown up in an open and liberal family, with an out-loud feminist mother, atheist father, and two crunchy granola sisters, I have no idea what my feelings would be on any moral issue. I can't claim that I got my opinions from a vacuum any more than I can claim I got my blue eyes by choice.
posted by Think_Long at 2:39 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


we need more straight heteros with straight hetero kids standing up for equal marriage rights for EVERYONE.

My mother. In 1990, my mother was firmly against marriage equality and GLBT adoption. "That's just not what marriage is!" she sniffed. "If people aren't willing to do what it takes to have a baby, then they should have to live with the consequences of that decision!"* My brother is straight, and while I dated women as well as men before I met my husband at the tender age of 20, I guaran-damn-tee you that she does not think of me as a queer person in the slightest.

She lives in Iowa now. She's 66. She was pleased and proud when Iowa gained full marriage equality, and says "I just can't believe that in 2012, anybody would have the least bit of issue with it. It's just so bigoted and backwards! It's so outrageous that prejudiced, small-minded, mean-hearted fuckheads think that this is the hill to die on. I wish these stupid out-of-state big-money special interest groups would quit trying to ruin the lives of those who don't concern them. Grow up, people." Twenty years, that's all it took.

*yes, she really uttered those words. I am 100% sure she would deny it now, and be completely mortified at the thought, but she did.
posted by KathrynT at 2:49 PM on February 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


My Mom is a gun-totin', horse-ridin', Texas Republican. And it took time, Lord did it take time, but I could see her making this speech today. And yes, it's because she has a gay daughter and it forced her to confront the issue in a very close-up way. She came down on the side of love and empathy and I am damned proud of her.
posted by kamikazegopher at 2:54 PM on February 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


Gary Johnson, former Republican Governor of New Mexico and Presidential candidate: “Many Americans have strongly held religious beliefs and other opinions regarding gay marriage. Those beliefs should be respected. However, it is not the business of government to determine which of those beliefs should be reflected as matters of law or rights under the Constitution.”
-
Don't really need any more than that to get it in most states. Just 100% of democrats and a few republicans who vote in their own self interest.

It's too bad we don't have 100% of Democratic voters yet and some very prominent Democrats remain on the wrong side of history when so many Republicans have already seen the light.

I'm surprised more people didn't check out the Portia Simpson Miller thread.

Some observers predicted Simpson Miller’s stance would spell her demise in the Dec. 29 election. But despite polls that showed the two parties neck and neck, her People’s National Party coasted to victory, collecting 41 seats to the JLP’s 22. The result made the conservative JLP the first one-term administration in the island nation’s modern history.

“It showed how courageous she is,” said Glenda Simms, a renowned feminist who has been an adviser to Simpson Miller. “She knew they could turn it around against her, and they tried. … But she’s not prepared to be a part of that history of discrimination. … She’s going to do whatever she can to break it.”

“People have taken it as a signal from the prime minister that there is a new era, a new attitude that needs to be embraced,” said Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, a political science professor and senior vice-president at York College of the City University of New York and an expert in Caribbean politics.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:02 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why on Earth shouldn't we speculate on people's motivations for their actions?

In this case, anyway, what difference would it make?

Let's say her daughter was straight, but with lots of lgbt friends and colleagues, and hearing the daughter talk about her friends and colleagues is what made her rethink her stance on same-sex marriage.

Or maybe it was a particular It Gets Better video. Or maybe her (straight!) hairdresser talked to her a lot about her son's upcoming marriage (in Canada) to his male partner.

What difference would it make? If she changed her mind because of her hairdresser instead of her kid, does that make her decision more or less legitimate? I don't get it.
posted by rtha at 3:06 PM on February 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


If they were capable of empathising with other people's situations they wouldn't be conservatives.

you know, there's a scene in Die Hard where Dwayne T. Robinson grabs the phone and starts giving McClane a hard time even though they're ostensibly on the same side and McClane tells him:

if you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem. Quit being a part of the fucking problem

Our country is incredibly polarized and partisan and we need to work towards common ground, *together* if we're going to have any hope whatsoever of pulling ourselves out of this tailspin. Quit being part of the fucking problem.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:22 PM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Long time lurker who signed up to comment on this thread because it hits close to home.

I think I can add a little information regarding Maureen's character as a person in general, independent of her party affiliation. I knew Maureen when we were youngsters. One of her brothers is a very close friend. I also knew her deceased husband and was greatly saddened when he died.

My older brother was mentally handicapped. His "retardation" was severe enough to be immediately noticeable by any observer, but not so severe that my brother, himself, was not conscious of his "differences." To be frank, my brother's circumstances were heartbreaking. He had no chance for a normal life and he knew it. He occasionally wept in frustration. I occasionally got in fist-fights because teenagers and young adults can be so cruel at times.

Maureen and Kelly (her at-that-time future husband whom she so eloquently mentions in her speech) befriended my brother and were very kind and gentle towards him. My brother was quite upset when they moved to Washington. I'm on the verge of tears right now just thinking about those days.

It's easy to suspect motive and to pigeonhole folks according to their political affiliation. It's easy to speculate about theoretical self-interest and how this translates in the political sphere. I do it myself.

I imagine that Maureen is no saint--who among us is? That said, I have no doubt that she is fundamentally a nice person interested in doing "Good" in life, according to her lights. That she and I are on opposite sides of the aisle makes no difference to me. She earned my respect and regard decades ago. More power to her.
posted by CincyBlues at 3:29 PM on February 9, 2012 [46 favorites]


CincyBlues, thanks for adding a firsthand character reference for Walsh and welcome to Metafilter!

I think it is somewhat natural for people on all sides of the political spectrum to question the motives of a politician because in the history of civilizations politicians have been known to tell us what they think we want to hear rather then what they really think.
posted by birdherder at 3:35 PM on February 9, 2012


Welcome CincyBlues, and thx for the further insights in this thread.
posted by dancestoblue at 3:43 PM on February 9, 2012


This makes me both happy and a little sad.

Happy because it's nice to hear a politician take a stand for equality and basic human decency.

Sad that this is still rare enough (on this issue, anyway) that everybody stops to take notice.

Now imagine your reaction if she were making this same speech, except the issue was marriage equality among different races. Or that women should be treated equally under the law.

But I guess you have to let these things run their course, and that it's too soon to call opponents of marriage equality what they are: immoral bigots who have no respect for common decency yet alone the civil rights and the American constitution. And they will be held in the same kind of contempt that we currently hold supporters of Jim Crow.
posted by Davenhill at 3:44 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was really moved when she referred to her kids as a fringe benefit.
posted by phaedon at 3:59 PM on February 9, 2012


Please, is it at all fair to discuss whysomeone has the right stance?

Yes, it certainly is, because it doesn't scale.

If she's suddenly concerned with gay rights because it happens to affect her that's nice, but her range of experience is limited. Does she have any family members are are not white? Does she have any family members without health insurance? Does she have any family members who are poor, or are in prison? If she did maybe she'd care about them too, but those kinds of people with those kinds of family members tend not to be voted into office, and that tendency is doubled for those who get Republican nominations.

I'm glad that her basic humanity has allowed her to take this step, but it won't get her any farther. In a way, this is itself a kind of privilege. The privilege of those in power to affect those issues they care about, while ignoring others. See Michael Moore's "A Prayer To Afflict The Comfortable With As Many Afflictions As Possible" (e2 link). From that link:

"Moore gives two more examples of this so-called 'when it hits home, it's very hard to keep acting like an asshole' policy. He points to Dick Cheney, who stopped most of his anti-gay rhretoric when his daughter came out of the closet a few years ago. And to former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who had opposed the city paying for health care for uninsured children but made a dramatic about-face when he came down with cancer himself. Said Giuliani: 'I have to admit...once I got cancer, I began to see a lot of things in a new light.'"

Please, before you respond to this, think about what I and Moore are trying to say. As a species, we are doomed if we continue to concern ourselves only with those few things in our immediate field of view. We must take a larger view of world if we are going to overcome all these petty backbiting injustices, yet overcome them we must because believe me, there are much bigger challenges than allowing homosexuals to marry ahead of us.
posted by JHarris at 4:20 PM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


But I guess you have to let these things run their course, and that it's too soon to call opponents of marriage equality what they are: immoral bigots who have no respect for common decency yet alone the civil rights and the American constitution.

Please tell we you left the "not" out of that sentence. Because it isn't too soon in any measure to call people against equality of marriage what they are: immoral bigots who have no respect for common decency yet alone the civil rights and the American constitution.

Sure, they'll get mad at you and say they're just moral people and we're the sinners. Or they're the cultural warriors and our acceptance of ideas that go against their warped worldview makes us the bad people.
posted by birdherder at 4:22 PM on February 9, 2012


The difference it makes is integrity. Objectivity. Fairness. I respect a decision made because it is right, far more than one made because it is expedient. "What is in it for all", not "what is in it for me".

Now it may be that an expedient decision is still right, and expedience and practicality must of course inform rightness. An individual self-identified conservative's decisions of course will be informed by other factors than tradition, self-interest, the interests of the powerful, and cruelty to the weak - however, to make such a decision is to abandon, temporarily, a conservative mode of thought. Do it often enough, and the person is no longer a conservative. This is not "no true Scotsman"; the very definition of conservative thought is its basis on such factors as in-group/out-group division, custom elevated to the status of morality, asymmetrical ethics, and exceptionalism. It's why they vote for denying gays civil rights and rent boys for blowjobs; why they are perfectly fine with middle-class taxation and fight tooth and nail for those who have far more than anyone could ever need to keep it all and be given ever more; it's why they excuse kidnapping, torture, massacre and other war crimes while relentlessly brutalizing Bradley Manning.

Change the outcome of the personal benefit calculation, and they will change what they do and what they say. Change it again, they change again. They believe nothing - they cower in obedience to the strong, and victimize the weak.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:32 PM on February 9, 2012


Please, before you respond to this, think about what I and Moore are trying to say. As a species, we are doomed if we continue to concern ourselves only with those few things in our immediate field of view. We must take a larger view of world if we are going to overcome all these petty backbiting injustices, yet overcome them we must because believe me, there are much bigger challenges than allowing homosexuals to marry ahead of us.

I agree completely. I discuss this with some friends how would send around the chain emails/FB posts from their bigoted acquaintances. For some people it seems they can't empathized until it hits close to home.

My racist fuck of an uncle finally came around to not seeing black people as subhuman when his daughter brought home a very dark mixed-race baby. Of course, that kid is great, his dad is OK, but he probably hasn't embraced any tolerance toward other black people including the president of the United States (he just doest use racial reason why he hates Obama, this week some bullshit about military funerals).

My friend's super conservative ex-coworker was totally against unemployment insurance because it made people lazy. Until he got laid off. Earlier, he also found out how shitty his "great" insurance was pretty shitty leaving on the hook for over $100K of hospital bills. And now he's unemployed and his COBRA may run out, he'll be fucked since he'll have a preexisting condition if he want to get insurance on his own. It really sucks that he had to realize why some of us want a better planet to live on but having tragedy strike like that. The sad part is, according to my friend just yesterday, he still thinks Mitt Romney is the only solution to our country's problems ("even if is he isn't' a real Christian. He's more of a Christian than Barack Hussein Obama). I think these people are unreachable.

I don't know what is wrong with people to not feel empathy for others unless they are personally affected. And what causes my brain to lock up is many of these same people use their religion to defend their stances on these issues. I'm not Christian but I've read the bible cover to cover and am convinced they are not following the word of Jesus.
posted by birdherder at 4:42 PM on February 9, 2012


JHarris, aeschenkarnos: I get that, and I'm reminded a bit of John Waters on The Simpsons, "now if every man like you could just get their life saved by a gay man..." But there's a distinction here that I think needs to be made: what she did with it once she had her epiphany.

If it were just about self-interest she could have quietly voted yes and stayed out of the spotlight on this. It was going to pass anyway, and she could've gotten lost in the shuffle.

Instead, she made what was clearly a thought out and considered speech which she had to know had a chance of going viral, going against the GOP on this issue the day after three states threw their lot in with Rick Fucking Santorum. And she's not equivocating. She's just preaching love.

I think it's important that she didn't lead with the fact that her daughter is a lesbian, but rather with the universal reasons why a decent human being should be in favor of marriage equality. Because everyone deserves the same fundamental rights. Because it is our duty to protect the bullied and unpopular from the ignorant mobs. Oh, and a couple of minutes before revealing that her daughter is a lesbian, she subtly reminds the people assembled that most of them know her as well.

Maybe she wouldn't have come to this decision without her daughter. I don't know. Maybe her sympathy will only extend so far. CincyBLues makes me think otherwise, but I don't know. I know that however she came to it, she's not just voting for self-interest, but advocating on universal grounds, and that's what I care about.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:03 PM on February 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Jesus' core message was that empathy is good and ought to be exercised as much as possible. However, to understand it requires possession of some empathy to begin with. Otherwise it's all just so the gostak distimming the doshes, with a social status benefit from nodding and smiling along.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:05 PM on February 9, 2012


You know what's awesome about being a public servant? What you actually do is a matter of record.

Yes to including gay people in anti-discrimination law. Yes to legal benefits for domestic partners. Yes to phasing out pollutants common to military and corporate production. Yes to requiring public sex education to use terminology that is medically and scientifically accurate. Yes to full parental rights for same-sex couples. Yes on expanding public education, especially to at-risk youth. Yes on medical marijuana, for fuck's sake.

She's been voting consistently for gay rights for at least 6 years; according to her speech, her daughter came out "a couple of years ago".

She's not great on the environment in general or on health care, and it looks like she has the usual Republican aversion to taxes. But look at her yea votes, and look how many of those bills are bills sponsored wholly or by a majority of Democrats. Note that this is an election year for her. You guys want to hate on conservatives, cool, I'm more or less down with that. But Rep. Walsh isn't all that conservative on social issues. You want to hate on her because she has an R next to her name, you're basically why the political discourse in this country is the worst.
posted by Errant at 5:05 PM on February 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


Navelgazer, I am willing, even eager, to believe that this particular person has abandoned conservatism, and perhaps she can pull some others out of it too (even if only to continue association with her). The general affliction remains.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:08 PM on February 9, 2012


A step in the right direction is better than no steps.

And no one comes to what they call an objective decision without input from other people.
posted by rtha at 5:37 PM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I worked alot on campaigns for gay rights when Canada was leading up to legalizing it and when I heard this on CBC this evening two things struck me.

1.) It really wasn't that long ago in Canada that we were having similar stories told, and similar battles fought and when I listen to it now I think, "Wow! I can't believe they're still having this battle." It's encouraging to me that it now seems like ancient history in this country... That I haven't had to think about it in so long. Once it is fully passed in the US, it'll be amazing how fast it becomes a non-issue (I hope)

2.) Best.Speech.Ever. We rarely get to hear politicans talk like this and I love it when they do.
posted by dogbusonline at 6:31 PM on February 9, 2012



> She's a conservative. Of course she's doing it because she has a gay daughter. It's how conservatives think. If they were capable of empathising with other people's situations they wouldn't be conservatives.

Zing? Those Republicans only change their philosophy when it hits home, eh? Sort of the way reliably Democratic people will only belatedly empathize with the monied class when they themselves achieve success and wind up on the paying end of a 40% tax bill? Or they will transform into 2nd amendment fans once someone they love is placed in danger? Conservatives don't have a monopoly on selfish principles.

In terms of preserving the status quo when it's in our favor, we left-leaning people also have things we are pretty "conservative" about.
posted by xigxag at 9:59 PM on February 9, 2012


This thread is as big an embarrassment to this community as Maureen Walsh's speech is a great thing.

So she came to the right conclusion about an issue because of the wrong reason? She has a gay daughter, and that's not reason enough?

THIS IS WHY THE CLOSET IS A TERRIBLE THING AND WHY GAY MEN AND WOMEN EVERYWHERE SHOULD SEEK TO LIVE LIVES THAT ARE OUT AND PROUD.

It's been the clarion call of the gay rights movement since before Stonewall -- that only through exposure will minds be changed. If this woman's only contact with the gay community was her gay daughter, and that helped to change her views, then that's fabulous.

Equally fabulous would be if she knew a gay couple in her church, or a gay checkout clerk at her grocery store, or a gay clerk in her office, or whatever, and knowing any of those had changed her mind.

I get scolded regularly here when I say that I'm tired of all the "come live in the liberal meccas where life is easy for the gays" siren songs which resound from places like Seattle or New York or where ever, and in turn say that I wish more gay men and women would stay in the "red" counties and towns and locales in which they live so they can be that casual brush with "teh gayz" which is the ONLY WAY a lot of people in those places will come to see homosexuals and queers as something other as the boogyman.

The plain fact is, it's completely and totally true that exposure changes minds.

Even if the laws change in every state in this country... Even if DOMA is finally repealed, ENDA is finally passed, and gays achieve something which we call "equal rights", do you think that the prejudice is just going to vanish because it's against the law? Ask the black population how that's going. Without concerted work to change minds ONE PERSON AT A TIME, the fact that "they hate us" (as Andy Humm points out regularly on Gay USA) will remain as long as there isn't consistent contact with GLBTQ people which directly counteracts the stereotypes and fear.

It's been told as truth for over 40 years, and just because it's now 2012 doesn't make it any less true today.

Any and all gay men and lesbians and other queers who haven't fled to the metropolis to live easy lives but who are instead invested in their small towns and red state cities and who are seeking to create lives of dignity and glory which can change the minds of those around them, I applaud all of you. It's fucking hard work, but it's the ONLY WAY opinions will be changed. One person at a time, one mind at a time, one life at a time. Thanks for doing what you do.

Even if the only mind you change is that of your mother, that's one more enlightened mind than existed before.
posted by hippybear at 10:25 PM on February 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


Wow.

Just wow.

I admit I started getting choked up during her speech, the same way I got choked up with the one response on YouTube to the kid suffering gay discrimination, the response from the guy using the cards the same as the kid did, the same way I get watching the stupid damn videos here, the same way I get when people try to do something good in this world. When they try to get out of their shells and accept everyone is human and we all have that in common.

Frankly, I don't give a shit if she DID have a dog in that race.

She didn't have to get up there and bare herself for a cause that might cripple her career. I feel she did it because it was the good thing to do.

And that is enough for me. I just wish I could do the same more often...

Aw, fuck. Now I am crying.
posted by Samizdata at 10:28 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


And, FWIW, I get choked up at some of the stuff I see around here too.

I am NOT drunk or intoxicated in any way, but I do love you guys and am ever so proud to name myself a MeFi, however the hell you pronounce it.
posted by Samizdata at 10:32 PM on February 9, 2012


Please tell we you left the "not" out of that sentence. Because it isn't too soon in any measure to call people against equality of marriage what they are: immoral bigots who have no respect for common decency yet alone the civil rights and the American constitution.
I did leave out "not" but intended to express the same basic meaning, just with an implied eye-rolling sarcasm. But even a straight reading still works because it's a fair reflection of political reality; there is a huge double standard in this country. You can get away with saying (or at least implying) the most vile, bigoted, or hateful things in this country if only you justify them in the name of religion. Conversely, rare is the politician who will dare that person a bigot, for fear of offending the politician's own religious constituents.
So she came to the right conclusion about an issue because of the wrong reason? She has a gay daughter, and that's not reason enough?
I don't have quarrel with the basic premise that what counts is her support for marriage equality, not how she arrived at it. Fair enough, put a 'W' in the win column. Agreed.

But... she doesn't exactly deserve a cookie for conceding that her favorite child deserves equality under the law, either. Heck, even Dick and Lynne Cheney have even come out in favor of gay marriage (they also have a gay daughter), not exactly the most exacting standard for tolerance.
posted by Davenhill at 1:13 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I absolutely cannot believe you're trashing this woman for turning around on this issue. This next part is in bold, cause you guys are being idiots.

There is no evidence of her ever voting against gay rights.

For all that we know, she came out of the womb waving a rainbow flag, just like all of you apparently did. She has never voted against gay rights. She supports the idea of minority protection under law, which is why her major committee chair is early education and at-risk youth.

You guys are so busy tying yourselves in knots to call her a reformed bigot, you seem to have missed that there's no evidence that she ever was one. And if you think being a Republican means she must have been one sometime, you have gone completely off the deep end.
posted by Errant at 1:25 AM on February 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


You know, it's kind of annoying to hear someone say that the thread is an embarrassment when so many people have said 'yay' and only a few have said 'yay, but'. Arguments with the yay, but' people should be had elsewhere.

Meanwhile, here is a woman who obviously believes in treating individuals as individuals and is able to empathise with the fact that the whole issue is to do with actual human beings within everyone's frame of reference and not some weird 'other' (I love the fact that she brought up the whole sex thing, because that seems to be the issue with so many homophobes - she did not shy away from that elephant) and is in the position to have a voice in changing things so that this whole thing becomes a non-issue in the near-future.

Good on her. Good woman.
posted by h00py at 1:27 AM on February 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


she says in her speech that many people there know her daughter. If she hadn't mentioned that she had a dog in the race that could easily of been used to attack her by those who think having a dog in a race invalidates your opinion.

marriage equality is good for all of us. there is a price for individuals and society to pay for holding on to non sensical, hateful ideas. we should all be in favor of marriage equality because we want to live in a world where we treat each other the way we want to be treated. the freedom to love who we choose and have sex with who we choose are basic human rights that we should be demanding for all of us.
posted by sineater at 7:10 AM on February 10, 2012


Any and all gay men and lesbians and other queers who haven't fled to the metropolis to live easy lives but who are instead invested in their small towns and red state cities and who are seeking to create lives of dignity and glory which can change the minds of those around them, I applaud all of you. It's fucking hard work, but it's the ONLY WAY opinions will be changed. One person at a time, one mind at a time, one life at a time. Thanks for doing what you do.

No one should feel obliged to stay somewhere full of people who hurt them, no matter how lofty the potential social good which may result. I do agree that people who stay in their small towns are truly brave, but it's not everyone who can be that heroic. People who can't shouldn't be shamed for knowing what they can and cannot bear.
posted by winna at 7:57 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


we need more straight heteros with straight hetero kids standing up for equal marriage rights for EVERYONE.

My mother. In 1990, my mother was firmly against marriage equality and GLBT adoption.


Sure, my mom too. Seems like what we need are more moms in politics.

You know, it's kind of annoying to hear someone say that the thread is an embarrassment when so many people have said 'yay' and only a few have said 'yay, but'.

Yes, the failure in reading comprehension is the most embarrassing part of this thread.

I absolutely cannot believe you're trashing this woman for turning around on this issue.

There's no trashing going on. At all. Again, my only real criticism of her speech is when she qualifies institutionalized discrimination as "almost" cruel.

Don't get me wrong. I posted this video on my Facebook page just like everyone else. I can publish for the masses. *kisses*
posted by mrgrimm at 10:53 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, my mom too. Seems like what we need are more moms in politics.

I almost said in my first comment that she reminded me of my mom in some way I couldn't quite describe. So, yes, go moms!
posted by epersonae at 2:31 PM on February 10, 2012


Michele Bachmann is a mom. So is Phyllis Schlafly (she's not an elected official, but she does have a gay son - not that that's swayed her at all). Just, you know - some moms are great. Some aren't.
posted by rtha at 4:04 PM on February 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


And if you think being a Republican means she must have been one sometime, you have gone completely off the deep end.

Well, come on. That's not that crazy an inference.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:53 PM on February 11, 2012


Well, the governor signed it. It becomes law in 90 days, unless the antis get 120k signatures in that time (which they very likely will) in which case it will be held until a popular vote.
posted by KathrynT at 1:05 PM on February 13, 2012


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