October 22nd, 2009
World War II veteran Phillip Spooner of Biddeford, Maine gave this moving testimony on April 22, 2009.
I am 86 years old, a lifetime Republican, and an active VFW Chaplan. I still serve three hospitals and two nursing homes, and I also serve Meals on Wheels for nine years. My wife of 54 years, Jenny, died in 1997. Together we had four children including one gay son. All four of our boys were in service.
I was born on a potato farm north of Caribou and Perham, where I was raised to believe that all men are created equal, and I never forgot that. I served in the U.S. Army in 1942 to 1945, in the First Army as a medic and as an ambulance driver. I worked with every outfit over there including Patton’s Third Army. I saw action in all five major battles in Europe including the Battle of the Bulge. My unit was awarded a Presidential Citation for transporting more patients with fewer actions than any other ambulance unit in Europe. And I was in the liberation of Paris. After the war, I carried POWs back from Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia, and also hauled hundreds of injured Germans back to Germany.
I’m here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman at my polling place asked me, “Do you believe in equality of 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 on Omaha Beach?”
[Cheers and applause]
I have seen so much blood and guts, so much suffering, so much sacrifice — for what? For freedom and equality. These are the values that make America a great nation, one worth dying for.
I give talks to eighth-grade teachers about World War II and I don’t tell them about the horror. Maybe I have to invite them to the ovens of Buchenwald and Dachau. I’ve seen with my own eyes the consequences of caste systems and tit makes some people less than others or second class.
Never again. We must have equal rights for everyone. It’s what this country was started for.
It takes all kind of people to make a World War. It doesn’t make sense that some people who love each other can and others can’t just because of who they are. This is what we fought for in World War II, that idea that we can be different and still be equal.
My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that three of them would have a certain set of rights, but our gay child would be left out. We raised them all to be hardworking, proud and loyal Americans. They all did good.
I think if two adults who love each other want to get married, they should be able to. Everybody is supposed to be equal in equality in this country. Let gay people have the right to marry. Thank you.
Update: Thanks to Matt Algren for his assistance in deciphering Mr. Spooner’s accent.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
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In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
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