Leading from the Left

Friday, May 08, 2009

Wish There Were More R's Like This Man

The following is an excerpt from remarks made the debate on marriage equality in Maine's State House this week. As the House prepared to vote, this arch-conservative New England Republican rose to his feet, and quietly, dispassionately explained why he would vote for equal rights. It's worth a read. Wish there were more like him.

"But a few days ago when I was selfishly feeling a little too sorry
for myself for having to make this decision, and selfishly feeling a little too
concerned about how my friends here and at home would feel about my decision, I
finally came to the realization that it is not about my problems, and it's not
about me, and it's not about my traditions, or my values, or the many respectful
and decent differences of opinion that will be voiced in today's debate.
It's about gay people who would like the freedom to get married; and the
fact that they, like it or not, have to receive the permission of others...our
legislators...and our governor...before they can do that.

It is awkward being a legislator at times, especially days like this. But like
all of you in this great chamber, I asked for this duty and knew full-well there
would be days like this. We all sought the honor of representing the
People, and perhaps we feel that honor the greatest on the miserable days like
this. I know that there won't be many pleasant phone messages on the machine
when I get home late tonight. But as I said, it's not about me. It's
about gay people seeking the right to marry. My job is to represent them like I
would represent all others, the very same way I would want that they represent