Washington state is the focus of one of the most hotly-debated issues of our time: same-sex marriage. Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, is poised to sign a bill next week that would allow such unions. And she does so with the support of Washington state lawmaker Maureen Walsh, a Republican, who broke ranks in order to support same-sex marriage.
That's how Walsh became an online celebrity and champion for gays and lesbians everywhere.
Walsh explains in the must-see video above that she wrestled with the question of same-sex marriages for some time. A widow of several years, Walsh said she desperately misses her husband. And not just because of the sex. (Although she misses that.) She says she misses the emotional bond that they shared. And when she realized that, she said, she knew how she'd vote on the same-sex marriage issue.
"How could I deny anyone the right to have that incredible bond with another individual in life?" she says. "To me it seems almost cruel." Walsh also says she hopes to one day throw a great big wedding for her daughter, who came out of the closet a few years ago.
It's no surprise that this video has gone viral -- watched, shared, posted and commented upon thousands upon thousands of times in the last 48 hours.
One indicator of its popularity: Actor George Takei of "Star Trek" fame, known more recently for his advocacy of gay rights, posted it on his Facebook page. The video has so far been shared more than 6,000 times from that page alone. It also has more than 13,000 "likes" -- again, from that page alone.
Watch the video and see what the fuss is about. Note that there is one glaring error in the video. Walsh starts out a bit nervously and says "I don't wax as eloquently as the people on the floor here."
Whether you support same-sex marriage or oppose it, there's no denying that Walsh eloquently states her case.
-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch