I continue to be amazed at conservatives who oppose homosexual equality without thinking that they may be working for inequality for their own children. I am amazed that in the name of God and family values these anti-gay activists so demonize homosexuals that they drive parents to abandon or disown their own children.
Well, on April 22, 2009, Philip Spooner, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who was in the Battle of Normandy and the liberation of Paris, addressed a group in Maine to tell them that he fought for the equality of all of his children, including his gay son. Just two weeks later, Maine’s legislation legalizing same-sex marriage was signed into law on May 6, 2009. However, now there is a measure on the Nov. 3 ballot to invalidate the law. Perhaps that is why the video of Mr. Spooner’s speech in April suddenly has become very popular on YouTube — he is still a father fighting for the equality of all of his sons:
Spooner, 86, spoke out in favor of marriage equality during hearings in Maine on gay marriage Apr. 22. But his remarks are only now being noticed online. The World War II vet, and father of four, says he didn’t fight in World War II for his gay son to be treated as a second class citizen.
“I am here today because of a conversation I had last June  when I was voting [in the presidential primary election],” Spooner says. “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.”
Mr. Spooner is so eloquent that I expect his speech will bring tears to the eyes of most people who watch him speak. But I have to tell my straight gentle readers that there is an additional effect his speech has on lesbians and gays. Because of all the ways religions work to get parents to disown or distance themselves from their homosexual children, without realizing it, I think the vast majority of us, in many important ways, feel motherless and fatherless from a very early age. So hearing Mr. Spooner speak, for too many homosexuals, will be their very first experience of what it would feel like to have a loving and supportive father. Imagine that.
Seriously — take a moment and imagine that. What would be different about your life if one or both of your parents demonized you, or even just affirmed you do not deserve to have equality simply based on your preference to marry a same-sex spouse and the speculation that you won’t be raising children? Imagine: would your life be better or worse if your parents denounced you and refused to stand up for your equality for ANY reason?
I’ve been fortunate to have my father’s support, but even I was astonished by the flood of emotion that poured over my parched heart when I felt Mr. Spooner’s support for his gay son’s equality. I was absolutely astonished at how loved he made ME feel. I wonder if straight people are conscious of the love and support and validation they get from every direction simply because they might have babies. I wonder if straight people are conscious of how consoling and empowering the reality of that network of support is.