“We have nothing to fear from love and commitment”

December 3, 2009

in this i believe

The State of New York voted down the gay marriage bill yesterday. By a vote of 38 to 24. There are 32 Democrats. Somehow I am not too surprised. Not because I am familiar with the NY political scene, but lately people have been letting me down. I am losing faith. (Don’t worry. This is supposed to be an inspiring post!)

Tea Parties.

Townhall crazies.

Birthers.

People who don’t know that you CANNOT be a Nazi AND a Communist at the same time.

Sarah Palin’s book, on the New York Times Bestseller list.

The fact that now I can remember Rush Limbaugh with fondness. Ah, the good old days before I was made aware of the existence of one Glenn Beck.

Glenn Beck.

I found the panacea for my doom and gloom as far as humanity is concerned today: Senator Diane Savino, a Democrat from Staten Island. Or rather, since we all should be wary of blind hero worship: we learned of her strong position on one issue today, and I plan to reserve my full-throttle love affair with her until I have a chance to know more about her other political beliefs and standings. But I will say this:

I am absolutely in love with her speech at the New York Senate floor yesterday defending the rights of gay people to be legally married.

The video of her speech is turning into the latest, hottest Internet Meme as I write. At least in the parts of the cyber world that I wander. People were elated to witness an impassioned speech explaining why voting YES to gay marriage is the right thing to do, that is at the same time rational, humorous, engaging, and moving. Perhaps the defeat in the State of New York is not for naught. Here is the silver lining: a plainspoken, easy to understand, relatable argument, from a Roman Catholic nonetheless.

* Like a dork, I sat down, listened to her while frantically trying to type down her words. So I can read them again. So I can read them out loud to anybody who would listen. Like a great Jon Stewart episode that speaks volumes of truth amidst the laughter. The transcripts for the highlights of her 7-minute speech is after the jump. IF you don’t feel like watching the video, or perhaps you disagree (and if so, I appreciate your staying around), please do read the highlights. I typed them out for you, my imaginary friends!



On the fundamental of the gay marriage bill:

“This vote is not about politics. It is not about democratic politics, or republican politics…

This vote is not about an issue of politics. This vote is about an issue of fairness and equality, not political. It is the fairness of two people, who are of the right age, of sound mind, who choose to live together, share everything together, and want to have the same protection that the government granted those of us who have the privilege of marriage and treated it so cavalierly in our society.”

On how she helped someone else see her point:

At 3:09, Senator Savino tells the story about her encounter with a stranger who stuck his head inside her car and asked her whether she was going to vote YES, and why. She reminding him that they could, as a matter of fact, go and get married at the city hall the next day, and nobody would question the quality of their relationship. Their commitment to the marriage.

“Do you think we are ready for that kind of commitment?”

The man saw her point.

On the role of the government as far as marriage is concerned:

“We in the government do not determine the quality or the validity of people’s relationships. If we did, we would not issue three quarters of the marriage license we do.”

On “what we are really protecting”

“Let me ask you something ladies and gentlemen, what are we really protecting?”

“Turn on the television. We have a wedding channel on cable TV devoted to the behavior of people on their way to the altar. They spend billions of dollars, behave in the most appalling way, all in an effort to be princess for a day. You don’t have cable television? Put on network TV. We’re giving away husbands on a game show. You can watch The Bachelor, where thirty desperate women will compete to marry a 40-year-old man who has never been able to maintain a decent relationship in his life. We have The Bachelorette in reverse… That’s what we’ve done to marriage in America, where young women are socialized from the time they’re five years old to think of being nothing but a bride. They plan every day what they’ll wear, how they’ll look, the invitations, the whole bit, they don’t spend five minutes thinking about what it means to be a wife. People stand up there before god and man even in Senator Diaz’s church, they swear to love, honor and obey, they don’t mean a word of it. And so if there’s anything wrong, or any threat to the sanctity of marriage in America, it comes from those of us who have the privilege and the right, and we have abused it for decades.”

The powerful conclusion that should be the rallying cry for the march:

“We have nothing to fear. We have nothing to fear from people who are committed to each other. who want to share their lives, and protect one another, in the event of sickness, illness or death.

We have nothing to fear from love and commitment.”

Update: Andrew Sullivan over at The Atlantic explained what I called the “silver lining” a lot more eloquently, with more punch (which is expected since I am not a writer but a stream-of-consciousness-typer-aka-excuse-for-illogical/bad-writing). And I am loving it too. There is hope, peeps. There is hope.

“[E]very time this question is thoroughly debated, and each time we put ourselves, our dignity and our families on the line, we win even if we lose… Civil rights movements always move forward by occasionally moving backward. And at each moment in the struggle, those unpersuaded watch us, how we respond, who we are. Anger and sadness are more than legitimate responses. But so are calm and confidence.” Andrew Sullivan

Update: I found a blog whose host took the time out to transcribe the entire speech. Amazing!

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{ 20 comments }

Merrilymarylee December 3, 2009 at 8:20 pm

What a beautiful thought–We have nothing to fear from love and commitment. I do believe that!

Thanks for this very thoughtful post.
.-= Merrilymarylee´s last blog…Skinking Around =-.

Velva December 3, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Amen sister! I could not have said it any better.
Also, my hat is off to Senator Savino!
.-= Velva´s last blog…Colombian Style Roasted Chicken Legs =-.

Andrea December 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Inspiring — thanks for sharing! I’m putting it up on facebook right now. :)
.-= Andrea´s last blog…"Fame" =-.

Elly Lou December 4, 2009 at 9:21 am

I watched that thing at least three times last night and pimped it like mad on Stalkerbook. I want to a) make out with her b)volunteer my perpetual service to her future campaigns and then c)trick her into marrying my little brother. She is downright nifty.
.-= Elly Lou´s last blog…Poconos (Part Two) =-.

TheKitchenWitch December 4, 2009 at 10:15 am

100% nodding my head in agreement. Love it.
.-= TheKitchenWitch´s last blog…Bringing Singapore Home =-.

mepsipax December 4, 2009 at 10:27 am

Great post. A straight talk from a politician. I say let em all be married. Misery loves company. Ha. I kid.
.-= mepsipax´s last blog…Holy Fucking Frozen Friday. =-.

Robin December 4, 2009 at 11:42 am

“We have nothing to fear from love and commitment” I love that!!!
.-= Robin´s last blog…When Cracked Fucks Up =-.

Unknown Mami December 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm

This issue brings tears to my eyes every time. When will we ever learn that discrimination is just wrong? I’m grateful for people like Diane Savino that stand up and speak the truth.
.-= Unknown Mami´s last blog…Fragmented Fridays =-.

Jennifer Lynn December 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Wow. What an incredible speech! Wow. How could they all not have been convinced?
.-= Jennifer Lynn´s last blog…Unprocessed Food: Day 3 =-.

Falling December 5, 2009 at 12:55 am

I came across this on Salon yesterday and watched the whole clip. Now I want to move to New York so I can live in this woman’s district. I got teary at the end, myself, especially knowing that the vote failed. I am baffled, as always, by those who would vote nay, but especially those who would vote nay after hearing this intelligent, humorous, respectful speech.

Thanks for reposting.
.-= Falling´s last blog…Somebody Call the Waah-mbulance =-.

Absence Alternatives December 5, 2009 at 7:09 am

I am grateful to have come across beautiful souls like you all in the cyber space. Despair not. I found these words by Andrew Sullivan over at The Atlantic comforting:
“[E]very time this question is thoroughly debated, and each time we put ourselves, our dignity and our families on the line, we win even if we lose… Civil rights movements always move forward by occasionally moving backward. And at each moment in the struggle, those unpersuaded watch us, how we respond, who we are. Anger and sadness are more than legitimate responses. But so are calm and confidence.”

mrsblogalot December 5, 2009 at 8:50 am

This really could not have been said better.
Live and let live damn it! Damn it! Damn it! I really wanted to curse but the damnits will have to do
.-= mrsblogalot´s last blog…Crazy Cuts =-.

Mama Zen December 5, 2009 at 8:57 am

I love the way she knocks down the “protection of marriage” nonsense. Love it!
.-= Mama Zen´s last blog…Sentimental Much? =-.

Ry Sal - aka @bwdstudio December 5, 2009 at 9:49 am

lovely. simply lovely.
.-= Ry Sal – aka @bwdstudio´s last blog…The Faith Of A Child =-.

Amanda December 6, 2009 at 1:33 am

Voted down, huh? Stupid, stupid people. She totally kicked ass.

Never did catch that dwarf dating show…
.-= Amanda´s last blog…And The Winner Is… =-.

Absence Alternatives December 7, 2009 at 12:58 am

I know! I was wondering about the dwarf dating show… We should consider ourselves lucky I believe.

Goldfish December 6, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Really there’s nothing to say to the but “yes.” A thousand times. (And a shout-out to my homestate of Iowa.)

Ambrosia December 6, 2009 at 11:50 pm

While I may disagree with this issue, I am very glad to read and hear speeches defending gay marriage. I think this type of open dialog helps us in this country (and other countries) understand the opposing position with respect. Respect.

Thank you for posting this summary and video!
.-= Ambrosia´s last blog…Saturday Evening Post =-.

Absence Alternatives December 7, 2009 at 12:56 am

Thank you for stopping by. And thank you for leaving a nice comment and actually, for reading the post even though you disagree with the issue.

Traci December 7, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Thank you for sharing the clip. I celebrate her words because it is true — there is nothing to fear.

Do not despair. You are not alone.

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