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Diane Savino’s Speech

Critical Appraisal

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Diane Savino’s Speech


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Diane Savino’s Speech

Question 1: Speaker’s Purpose and Main Points

            Diana Savino’s argument on the 2009 marriage equity bill is well articulated and clear. She started the speech by expressing her worries about the uncertainty of the debate’s results and how the actions of the senate seating would affect the lives of many Americans (NYSenate, 2009). Gay marriage rights have been a topic of discussion for many nations in the 21st century. Proponents of the marriage equity bill see it as a way to adjust traditional regulations to meet the current population’s needs. However, the topics of gayism and lesbianism receive many criticisms from religious and traditionalist circles. Senator Savino addresses the concerns of the descending views systematically and articulately, using many quotes. The speaker’s main point was to highlight the purpose of marriage and its legal requirements. She demonstrated that allowing same-sex marriages would not affect the guidelines established to determine the success or failure of a partnership. Savino uses elements of superior speechmaking, namely persuasion and credibility, to show the importance of passing the equal marriage bill in favor of same-sex couples.

            Savino begins the speech by acknowledging the significance of the bill’s outcome to the American population. She periodically tackles the opposing views, such as the religious arguments and the legal requirements of a marriage. Although she acknowledges the importance of not muzzling the faith institutions, she indicates that the prohibition of same-sex marriages is discriminatory and against the law. Savino further suggests that the senate and other government agencies do not have similar discretion as the church to discriminate against people without significant evidence based on the law. Therefore, passing the bill would not interfere with the constitutional mandate of the house. Lastly, she disputes the claims that allowing same-sex marriages would destroy the sanctity of the marriage institution. Savino indicates that the failures in the family unit are caused by a lack of commitment among partners, which can occur in any union, homosexual or heterosexual.

Question 2

            Savino applies different speech techniques to articulate her point. She uses prosodic features such as different intonations to express various emotional statuses. According to Kamiloğlu et al. (2021), prosodies are effective paralinguistic tactics used to communicate different sentiments. For instance, during the beginning of the speech, it is clear from the word choice and the speaker’s voice (variations in tone) that she expresses fear and uncertainty. She uses the prosodic attribute to capture the audience's attention and signify the vitality of the topic at hand. The rubbing of her ears and tapping of the pen create a dilemma sensation among the listeners. According to Savino, gay unions do not threaten the institution of marriage. Her tonal variation in different instances of the speech keeps the conversation exciting and the entire house engaged. It can be concluded that the speaker convinced the audience of the importance of the topic and its effects on the general population.

Savino applies persuasion throughout her speech to convince the rest of the senators to support the bill. Hair et al. (2018) highlight the importance of effectiveness in communication. According to Alkhirbash (2016), a speaker can influence the audience through honesty, respect, transparency, appreciation, and activation. Savino uses most of these strategies in her speech to get the senators’ attention. For instance, she gives personal examples and quotes other people to enhance the credibility of her argument. Moreover, she respects the various views of members who do not support the bill, including religious organizations. She appreciates the marriage and states that maintaining a relationship with another person is an accomplishment everyone should respect. Her use of quotes and real-life examples enhances the argument's credibility.

Question 3

The speaker is aware of the different views presented in the meeting. Same-sex marriage discussions always elicit different opinions. Savino handles the issue by stating that the bill should not be associated with any political alignments since it relates to personal matters. She uses persuasion to convince the senators that the issue affects both democrats and republicans, and voting for or against the bill does not involve a single group. She also addresses the differences in religious perceptions. The majority of the people opposed to the bill have faith-related reasons. She talks about different churches and their expectations of a marriage union to show that the issue cuts across all faiths. Moreover, she mentions her religious affiliation to indicate a sense of belonging within the spiritual circles, enhancing the quality of her speech.

Question 4

Savino anticipated counterarguments such as the quality of a relationship and the effects of gay marriages on the marriage institution. She structured her speech in a two-way manner where she questioned some of the counterarguments and constructively answered them. For instance, the speaker discusses the conversation she had with a stranger about the quality of relationships and how same-sex marriages would not affect the requirements of a union. Savino carefully shows how these descending views are discriminatory to homosexual unions when the same would be allowed in heterosexual marriages.


Alkhirbash, A. (2016). Speech acts as a persuasive device in selected speeches of Dr. Mahathir Mohammed. International Journal of English and Education, 5(2), 81-103.

Hair, D., Stewart, R. & Rubenstein, H. (2018). A speaker's guidebook: Text and reference. Bedford/St. Martin's.

Kamiloğlu, R.G., Boateng, G., Balabanova, A., & Sauter, D. A. (2021). Superior communication of positive emotions through nonverbal vocalizations compared to speech prosody. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 45, 419–454.

NYSenate. (2009, Dec. 2). NYS Senator Diane Savino speaks on the marriage equality bill [Video]. Youtube.

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