QUEER VOICES
03/22/2013 12:26 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Matthew Lannon, Rhode Island Sixth Grader, Gives Gay Marriage Speech At Hearing

A sixth grade student stunned the Rhode Island Senate judiciary committee with a profound speech on same-sex marriage.

Twelve-year-old Matthew Lannon, who says he has two moms and two dads who have been together for 14 years, told the crowd, "My parents, and all the other gay and lesbian people here, just want to be happy."

Describing his parents' commitments as "very, very real," he added, "All they want is to be treated fairly. But unlike most of you, they have to come again here year after year and explain over and over why their love is equal to yours. This year, you have the opportunity to change that. I say, choose love.”

Lannon is the nephew of Rhode Island State Sen. Donna Nesselbush, the Providence Journal points out.

Lannon's speech recalls that of Zach Wahls, the University of Iowa student whose impassioned marriage equality speech became YouTube's most-viewed political clip of 2011 after going viral in the blogosphere twice.

The Journal reports that a hearing on two gay marriage bills lasted an "unprecedented" 12 hours, finally concluding on March 22 at 4:57 a.m.

At present, Rhode Island is the sole New England state not to allow same-sex marriage, although lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples have the option of civil unions.

H/T The New Civil Rights Movement

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