This was absolutely the best speech of the night. Republican State Senator Cheryl Pflug of Maple Valley—one of the first Republican state senators to announce support for gay marriage—calmly and earnestly takes her conservative colleagues on a tour of American history, reminding them why the Bill of Rights was created in the first place, how this country's founders came here to escape governments that tried to dictate what was true and holy, and how "tradition" is often kind to the majority and not to the minority.
There is an almost Biblical cadence to the way Pflug delivers her remarks: "And many of our forefathers came to this land...", "And so our Bill of Rights was born...," "And then it grew...", "And so I commend this bill to you today because it is part of our struggle..."
There is also something wonderfully devastating in the way Pflug dismisses Republican Senator Don Benton's talk about how few gay people there are.
"I don't know how many gay couples there are," Pflug says, in a voice that has the almost whispered quality of a timid individual, but is in fact speaking words meant to flay. "It makes no difference."
A lot of powerful speeches were delivered last night. None was more quietly eloquent and perfectly sharpened than this.