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06/02/2010

Video: Can 'Philip Spooner: The Opera' be far behind?

by Jeremy Hooper

Remember Philip Spooner, the Maine veteran whose testimony in favor of marriage equality became a sort of rally cry during last fall's Question One fight? Yea? Well good, because now, a composer by the name of Melissa Dunphy has put Spooner's testimony into a choral work entitled "What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?" And over the weekend, a choir at Blessed Sacrament Church in Kansas City, KS, captured it on video:

"Good morning, committee. 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 chaplain ... 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've never forgotten that.

I served in the U.S. Army, 1942-1945 ... I worked with every outfit over there, including Patton's Third Army. I saw action in all
Spoonerfive major battles in Europe... I was in the liberation of Paris.

(I have seen much, so much blood and guts, so much suffering, much sacrifice.)

I am here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman ... asked me, "Do you 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 at Omaha Beach?"

For freedom and equality. These are the values that make America a great nation, one worth dying for.

My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that our gay son would be left out. We raised them all to be hard-working, proud, and loyal Americans and they all did good.
"

Enchanting.

No word on whether the anti-gay side will preserve any of their own arguments in some form of art. Though it's unlikely, since most state fairs prefer to judge the bull, not a sculpture made from its refuse.

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