When Maureen Walsh, Republican Representative for Walla Walla, gave a heartfelt speech in favour of legalising gay marriage, she was addressing 97 colleagues in the Washington legislature.
Two days later, and the clip of her moving address has been watched by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world after the video went viral. In the speech, Walsh is visibly emotional as she describes the love she shared with her late husband, saying that it is “cruel” to deny anyone the right to that connection with another individual. She also says that her daughter is a lesbian and she would like to throw a wedding for her.
Walsh was one of only two Republicans in the House to break with the party and vote in favour of the bill allowing gay couples to marry in Washington. The bill passed 55-43, but that is not the battle won: opponents plan to lobby for a referendum.