She’s a New York state Assemblywoman with a gay son. Teresa Sayward, R-Willsboro is one of a few parents who recognized and embraced their child’s homosexuality at an early age.
And her son’s sexual orientation is common knowledge in Willsboro, a town of about 1,900 residents in northern Essex County. A rainbow flag flies in front of the home that’s been in the family since the American Revolution.
The assemblywoman is currently lobbying for her son’s equal marriage rights.
The family’s story gained statewide notoriety when she spoke in an emotional appeal before the Assembly voted on a bill to legalize gay marriage. The bill passed the Assembly, but did not pass the Senate. In order to become law, a bill must be passed by both houses of the legislature and then signed by the governor.
Assemblywoman Sayward views the issue as one of civil rights.
“They scream morality and stuff like that,” she said. “Well if two gay men can adopt a child, it would be nice if they can give a child one name or something like that.”
She has grappled with the issue for years. Asked how she knew, Sayward said it was simply a mother’s instinct.
“…I knew that my little boy when he went off to kindergarten was not the same as the other little boys,” she said.
Sayward has taken some political heat for taking a position on gay marriage. She was one of only four Republicans in the Assembly who voted in favor of the gay marriage bill. The Conservative party likely will not endorse her for re-election because of her stance on gay marriage.
Watch video of Assemblywoman Sayward as she speaks on the Assembly floor about her son, during a debate about gay marriage in New York.