The Last Word | February 07, 2013
>>> in dublin in 1854 . he married, had two children and finish writing when he was 35 years old. by then he had already become one of the london's most important men of letters and possibly the world's greatest wit. but that didn't stop england from charging him with 25 counts of gross indecencies and conspiracies to commit gross indecencies when he was 40 years old. the prosecution called young male witnesses to testify about the criminal sexual behavior oscar wilde engaged in when homosexual sex was a crime in england and most of the world. during the trial, the prosecutor read a poem by lord alfred douglas that wilde said he admired and asked wilde to interpret one of the lines of the poem. the prosecutor's question was, quote, what is the love that dare not speak its name? os scare wilde gave a long answer at the end of which the court transcript indicates, loud applause mingled with some hiss. the sex crime defendant facing ruination as he sat in the witness stand answered the question this way. the love that dare not speak its name in this century is souch a great affection of an elder for a younger man, such a plato made the very basis of his philosophy and in michelangelo and shakespeare. it is, in this century, misunderstood sue much misunderstood that it may be described the love that dare not speak its name and account of it i am placed where i am now. there is nothing unnatural about it that it should be so the world does not understand. the world mocks it and sometimes puts one in the pillary for it. that kind of honest and indeed nobel won him two years in the prison. 118 years after england sent oscar wilde to prison for a crime of loving men too much, the house of commons voted overwhelmingly this week to approve a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. the historic vote was cast after a six-hour debate. the highlight of which was a speech delivered by david lammy , first elected to parliament at the age of 27. he shares some biographical points with barack obama . he was raised by a single mother and made he racial history at harvard law school . and david lammy was the first black britain to study a master's in law at the harvard law school after having already graduated from law school in london. his time studying american law obviously helped him frame the issue of marriage equality .
>> it is, in the end of an organic journey from criminality to equality, for the guy community that began over half a century ago. this change is right. this change is necessary and the time is now. and there are still those who say that this is all unnecessary. why do we need guy marriage when we already have civil partnerships , they say? they are the same, separate but equal , they claim. let me speak frankly. separate but equal is a fraud. separate but equal is the language that tried to push rosa parks to the back of the bus. separate but equal is the motive that determined that black and white people could not possibly drink from the same water fountain , eat at the same table, or use the same toilets. separate but equal are the words that justified sending black children to different schools from their white parents peers. it's an excerpt from the phrase book of the separatist. it's the same delusion that we borrowed in this country to say that women could vote but only if they were married and only when they were over 30. it is the same naivety that gave way for my dad, being a citizen when he arrived here in 1956 , but refused by landlords and proclaimed no blacks, no irish, it entrenched who we were, who our friends could be and what our lives could become. this is not separate but equal . it is separate and discriminated. separate and oppressed. separate and browbeated and separate and subjugated. so let us be rid of it. as long as there is one rule for us and another for them, we allow the barriers of acceptance to go unchallenged. as long as our statute books suggest that love between two men and two women are not worthy of marriage we allow homophobia to fester.
>> oscar wilde was released from prison at the age of 42. he moved to prison where he lived in poverty and died at the age of 46. in prison he wrote, society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer but nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where i may hide and secret valleys in whose silence i may weep undisturbed. tonight in england , oscar wilde would not have to hide in clefts in the rocks and would not have to weep in