People Features

Local Maine hero: Greatest Generation, Philip Spooner speaks out for gay marriage

By April MacIntyre Oct 22, 2009, 4:18 GMT

A member of the Greatest Generation, Philip Spooner, spoke from his heart to the state legislature in Maine to stand up for gay  marriage and equality for all under the law.

"My name is Phillip Spooner and I live at 5 Graham Street in Biddeford. I am 86 years old and a lifetime Republican and an active VFW," began Mr. Spooner's testimony given for Maine's marriage equality bill on April 22, 2009.

Nearly 4,000 people attended the hearing, with marriage equality supporters out-numbering the opposition 4 to 1.

Mr. Spooner, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who served with General Patton, was at Omaha Beach and participated in the liberation of Paris spoke out about his loss of his wife of 54 years, his four sons, one gay, all of whom served their country as their Father did.

Mr. Spooner spoke of the horrors of Dachau and Buchenwald, and said it "takes all kinds of people" to make this world what it is, and that fighting in WWII was to protect the very American ideals of freedom and opportunity for all.

"We raised them all to be hardworking, patriotic Americans" said Philip of his four sons. Philip said, "The woman at my polling place asked me do I believe in 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 I fought for in Omaha Beach?'"



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