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Widowed GOP Lawmaker: How Could I Deny Anyone The “Incredible Bond” Of Marriage I Had?

by David Badash on February 9, 2012

in Civil Rights,Legislation,Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Widowed GOP Lawmaker: How Could I Deny Anyone The “Incredible Bond” Of Marriage I Had?

The House of Washington state yesterday voted to support Governor Gregoire’s same-sex marriage bill, thanks in part to two Republicans who risked vilification from their peers for voting their consciences. One, Republican Rep. Maureen Walsh stood in the middle of hundreds — if not thousands — and said:

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.

Walsh addded, “someone made the comment that this is not about equality. Well yes it is about equality. And why in the world would we 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.”

The bill, by the way, has also been passed by the Senate so now we’re awaiting  the Governor’s signature to make Washington the seventh state and eighth jurisdiction to provide marriage equality. You can thank Rep. Walsh here.

Here’s the entire transcript, courtesy of BuzzFeed, and the video, via the Washington House.

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.

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{ 1 comment }

psuedok February 10, 2012 at 3:09 am

When you lose someone, you realize what you had is gone and its hard to say others can not share that.
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