Monday, December 31, 2007

Today's letter - Freedom Interrupted

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Tomorrow Oregon was set to allow same-sex couples to enter into a better-than-nothing civil union structure like California, New Hampshire, Vermont and some other states. More than 500 couples planned to take their vows on New Year’s Day.

Just two days ago, a federal judge overrode the state law, saying that the needs of these couples to make a commitment to each other should take a back seat to the bitter desire of a few to keep them apart. Now 528 couples are waiting in limbo while their relationships are put on trial.

Would you like it if your wedding was canceled with just three days notice, Governor? I’m guessing not. Please help swing the mood in California so that what happened in Oregon can’t happen here (again).

You don’t have to break the law to say that you believe committed couples should have the freedom to choose marriage. You just have to break your silence.

Yours,

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Today's letter - Get Government out of our Living Rooms

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Anybody familiar with the syndicated cartoon The Lockhorns, the TV show “Married with Children,” the political travails of Larry Craig or the new film The Kite Runner knows there is a profound difference between sex and marriage.

Across all media, the message is the same: regardless of what happens in bedrooms, bathrooms and alleys, the partnership of marriage is a unique identifier for two people who are special to each other on a much higher level. Sex takes place in the bedroom; marriage happens in the living room.

There are people who say that gay couples are just taking their relationships into the living room. I believe that real relationships start in the living room. Whether they or I am right, Government should not be meddling in the intimate affairs of either room.

We got Government out of our bedrooms. It is time to get it out of our living rooms as well. Regardless of what you believe about same-sex relationships, I wish you would explain to the people and your fellow Republicans that a government that leaves the issue of sex to the individuals involved ought to leave the issue of marriage to individuals as well.

Yours,

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Today's letter - stranger things have happened

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

When people tell me that Lesbian and Gay couples will never get married in California, I tell them that “never is a long time.”

Who would have thought that two gay men could have children? Who knew that there would be gay marriages in Spain? Never did we think Larry Craig would be gay and Richard Simmons would be straight – or that the California legislature would pass a gay marriage all the way to the Governor’s desk. Who could have imagined that that we would have an openly gay bishop confirmed by a major religion – or that we would have a major Presidential candidate from a church that believes in gay marriage?

If we want all Californians to be able to fully participate in our economy and society, we need you, Governor, to tell Californians that everybody deserves the freedom to marry. That could never happen – but stranger things have.

Yours,

Friday, December 28, 2007

Today's letter - Stories from the Trenches

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Here is a little story from a May 2006 meeting of the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County that shows a sampling of what’s going on “in the trenches” of the GOP.

Author Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson was the speaker for the evening. He explained that more black Americans would enter into marriages if there were a constitutional amendment redefining it as between only one man and one woman.

A member of the audience stood up to ask why, if marriage creates stability in society and is good for children, that a whole group of Americans should be denied the opportunity to marry. The Reverend responded by explaining that Christian beliefs are very important to black Americans and capped it off with a quote from Leviticus.

Another audience member then stood up and asked if the Reverend supported slavery, since, after all, it is in the Bible, too.

The Chairman of the meeting interrupted the discourse to call for tolerance from party members, a call that was honored by the objectors but not by Reverend Peterson, who continued to fabricate reasons for excluding lesbian and gay Americans from the party and from society.

You wonder why Republicans can’t get elected in this state – well look no further than your local chapter meetings, where tolerance of hatred alienates any voter of conscience.

You could change this, Governor, by telling your party that whatever they think of gay marriage, “freedom” means that all Californians should have the freedom to choose who they marry.

Yours,

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Today's letter - smokers have more liberty for less public good

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I don't understand why Government supports the freedom of people to smoke, but not the freedom of people to marry.

In the economics of exchanging liberty "for the public good", an outright ban on cigarettes would clearly tip to the public good. Yet your sense of justice tells you denying people even the freedom to poison others is wrong.

In the case of my marriage, Government has taken away my liberty "for the public good." But there is no good that has come of it. The “secondhand marriage” that I’m thrust into costs taxpayers more money to administer, limits my participation in the economy, and sends the poisonous message that government can punish people not for what they do, but for their individual beliefs or immutable characteristics.

If there is no public good, why am I forced to surrender my liberty? Would you please explain to the people and your fellow Republicans that Government should not have eminent domain on individual freedom.

Yours,

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Today's letter - How do they know it's Christmas without Family?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I hope you got everything you wanted for Christmas.

My Christmas was magical: my husband and I opened presents with our 9 ½ month old kids, including a book that we put together chronicling their first year on Earth. Our parents came over and we enjoyed each others company through a wonderful family dinner. Life has been bountiful, and we were blessed to be able to celebrate that together.

My Christmas bliss was disturbed by the recognition that so many people are celebrating without family. Children whose parents have disowned them because they are gay; parents who have lost children through gay-related suicide; marriages broken because they were formed for the wrong reasons; and even siblings who were turned away because they were unwilling to accept their kin for who they are.

I really don’t know how you can enjoy your holidays knowing that domestic apartheid will flourish as long as you advocate civil unions for some and marriage for others. Please start working now so by next Christmas we can all enjoy the gifts of liberty and freedom.

Yours,

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Today's letter - Merry Christmas

[We sent The Governor our Christmas card, which shows me and my financee holding our two kids in front of the snow-covered castle at Disneyland. The kids are dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Claus in red jackets with white trim and matching hats.]

Governor Schwarzenegger -

Wherever you are, may you have a white Christmas and a joyous 2008.

[handwritten] Thank you for signing the bills last year that protect and nurture our family, and please help us to get the freedom to marry in 2008.

[signed].

Monday, December 24, 2007

Today's letter - Republicans deserve their reputation

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

A particular critical parody of Republicans has been floating around the Internet for a few years. It starts:

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land,
not a critic was stirring, for stirring was banned.
A thousand brown prisoners, snug in their cells,
all held without charges or tinsel or bells;
Did you ever wonder how Republicans, for all the wonderful things they do, get such a bad rap on personal freedom? Maybe it is because the GOP is the only party that believes gay people do not deserve the freedom to get married, get domestic partnered or even raise children. (Yes, Virginia, it’s right there in your party platform.)

When you can meddle with the most intimate thing in a man’s life – his private relationships – it scares anybody with a sense of justice. And it should. Republicans used to be about separating Government from individual people’s decisions. Now that is all upside-down.

I hope Santa brings you some common sense for Christmas, and you evolve to support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Today's letter - Leviticus bans Sex, not Love

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Bible Week continues with a clarification of Leviticus. The old-testament passage says “[a man] shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” On the surface, this seems pretty damming, but anybody who reads the bible with more care than they give the Recycler knows that this is nothing about gay marriage or same-sex relationships, and certainly not an appropriate guide for public policy.

As a gay dad, I differ from the biblical scholars who dwell on issues of context and applications to temple prostitution and pagan ritual. Instead, I recognize that to “lie with” anybody – man or woman – the way it is said in Leviticus is wrong. That’s adultery, prostitution, promiscuity and a bunch of other things.

God begins Leviticus 18 saying “You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you.” and then goes on to list other “abominations” practiced by the Canaanites, such as eating pork (11:7) or seafood (11:9), planting mingled seeds (19:19) or wearing polycotton blends (19:19).

Nowhere – and conspicuously nowhere – does He endorse heterosexual relationships or ban homosexual ones.

This is consistent with Genesis and the rest of the bible where we are taught that God created partnerships for the purposes of companionship, not to exclude gay people.

“It is not good that the man should be alone.” Genesis 2:18.

As long as man can debate what the Old Testament says about homosexuality, we need to use a higher standard for deciding public policy, such as freedom and liberty. Please reconsider your admonishment of same-sex relationships and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Today's letter - Condemn the correct sin

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Your public policy on gay marriage hinges on a condemnation of gay sex, which of course comes from the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The story goes that God destroyed the two cities because of the immoralities of the residents, and because the writings of some Dark Ages monks, “the sin of Sodomy” has become synonymous with any sexual liaison that is not stick+hole=baby.

Unfortunately for that policy, anybody who reads the Bible with more attention than they pay to the Sudoku puzzle in their Sunday paper knows that God’s destruction of the city (Genesis 18:20) has nothing to do with the part where the men attempt to rape the angels (Genesis 19:9), which was merely an act of barbaric punishment by rape – not homosexuality.

Ezekiel 16 lists the many sins of these people – and homosexuality is not one of them.

“"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49 (American Standard)

In 2003 the United States Supreme Court invalidated Sodomy laws as being an unconstitutional violation of privacy. In 2005 and 2007 the California Legislature sought to invalidate the special exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage as an unconstitutional violation of religious tolerance, privacy and freedom. You sided with the sodophyles and vetoed those bills.

When you have abundant food and careless ease, the least you could do is help same-sex couples achieve the access to same laws and opportunities as everybody else. It is too late for you to sign AB 43, but it is not too late for you to support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Friday, December 21, 2007

Today's letter - Adam should not be alone

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Your public policy on gay marriage seems to have all started with Adam and Eve. This original couple started out clinging together and was later told by God that they were married and to “go forth and multiply.”

This relationship has been carried to an extreme in order to specially exclude homosexual couples from society and, in particular, marriage. This has gone on for so long that those opposed to my marriage carry signs that say “God made Adam and Eve - Not Adam and Steve!” The reasoning is twofold: first, Adam and Eve were created to procreate, and second, since God didn’t make a gay couple, God forbids gay relationships. Of course, anybody who actually reads Genesis with more care than they read a t-shirt gets a different view.

For the first point, God’s first stated reason for marriage was companionship, not procreation. God said:

“It is not good that the man should be alone.” Genesis 2:18.

Thus He created Eve for Adam. Procreation was bonus, since at the time they didn’t have sperm banks or in vitro clinics.

The second point, just because God happened to made a man and a woman first doesn’t mean anything about couples after that. Adam and Eve didn’t make grandparents or bellybuttons, but I don’t see bumper stickers about that. What really makes this argument folly is that God did make at least one gay couple – me and my partner – and thus the argument of God’s Perfect Template falls apart.

So the next time you get a letter from a constituent saying Adam and Steve should be kept apart, remember Adam and Eve, and God’s message of companionship and commitment. Then support the freedom to marry for all God’s children.

Yours,

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today's letter - either the Church or Galileo is wrong

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Since the public policy banning my marriage is based on the teachings of the Catholic Church, it would be prudent to take a moment to examine the credentials of the teacher.

In 1633, The Vatican said that the sun (and everything else) orbits the Earth. Galileo Galilei claimed that the Earth orbited the sun. Observation v. Bible went on trial, and Galileo was found guilty of contradicting God’s word. He was forced to renounce his findings, excommunicated and placed under house arrest until his death.

It took centuries for fact to overtake fiction, and in 1993, Pope John Paul II finally conceded that Galileo was right: the Earth really did orbit the sun, and the Church was wrong.

I was astonished to learn that the current pope, Benedict XVI, is on a tear to once again condemn Galileo for daring to use facts to question the authority of the Church. This kind of blatant disregard for the brains God gave us makes me question all of the Church’s teachings; when you start to unravel them, it’s not a pretty sight.

I was taught that the universe revolves around God, not Mr. XVI. I was taught to treat others as I like to be treated myself. I was taught to pursue truth and not power. If anything I’ve been taught is true, the Catholic Church is dangerously far from God, and their treatment of Galileo – and me – proves that.

Please, Governor, use the brains God gave you and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Today's letter - Saving marriage for the Spears

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today’s headlines announced that 26-year-old Britney Spears is getting married for the third time, and that her 16-year-old sister Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant – out of wedlock – with a guy she met at Church.

The response from the Campaign for California Families is an amped-up effort to “save marriage” from lesbian and gay couples.

Now I don’t know about you, Governor, but it seems to me that we should be “saving marriage” for committed couples like me and my partner of ten-and-a-half years, instead of people like the Spears who seem to have a problem with commitment.

I want my kids to have positive role models. I think society would want to promote that. Instead, your office is resonating the message that marriage is for something other than committed couples.

I wish you would use your position of power and leadership to explain to the people of California that all committed couples should have the freedom to marry – and perhaps we might be able to really and truly “save marriage.”

Yours,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today's letter - Unworthy of Jury Duty

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

According to you, the people of California have determined that I am either incapable or unworthy of marrying my partner of ten-and-a-half years. That’s why you annulled my marriage in 2004 and vetoed AB 43 in 2007.

Since I am apparently less of a person, I was wondering if I could get out of Jury Duty. Who would want a gay dad on their jury anyway? Could you write me a note?

It’s not that I don’t mind serving – it’s just that I would rather not waste my time going down there to be rejected because of who I love. I get enough rejection from you.

Yours,

Monday, December 17, 2007

Today's letter - Paul was against everything, except Commitment

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Since the Bible is the foundation everybody turns to when they try to justify the special ban on same-sex marriages, it would be a good idea for you to know what the Bible actually says about homosexuality, and in particular, same-sex relationships.

Paul wrote in Romans 1:26-27 “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet,"

The usual argument to this is that Paul was against everything. For instance, he wrote in Timothy 2:9, that women should "adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." I’m sure your wife Maria would take issue with this admonition if it were to become public policy.

Others point out that Paul was commenting not on homosexual couples but the pagan practice of “fertilizing” castrated galli priests as surrogates of the fertility goddess, a weird way of worshiping a false idol, which actually was one of those ten commandment thingies.

As a gay dad, I have a different take on this. I like and love my life partner. We are a couple. Paul wasn’t talking about us, he was talking about people like Larry Craig and Ted Haggart, who turned away from their partners to pursue lust towards others.

“It is not good that the man should be alone.” Genesis 2:18.

As long as man can debate what the Bible says about homosexuality, we need to use a higher standard for deciding public policy, such as freedom and liberty, or even the ten commandments. Please reconsider your admonishment of same-sex relationships and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Friday, December 7, 2007

Today's letter - lying is worse than homosexuality

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I’m just trying to be the best husband and father that I can. That’s why I want to thank you for passing SB 777 to teach the truth in our schools.

I remember when I had my first sex-ed class (in a private Catholic school). I was in sixth grade. The principal and the male faculty took all the boys into the library, while the female faculty took all the girls to a classroom in the other end of the building. Being in the library, while the principal was trying to explain the reproductive system, we were looking up obscene words in the unabridged dictionary. That’s when I discovered to my dismay that a “navel” was several inches above where I thought it was. It was, in retrospect, very educational – but not because of the reasons that the faculty had intended.

Americans have developed a bad habit of confronting situations that challenge their beliefs by praying for contrary evidence to go away, then persecuting anybody who resists. Just like evolution and heliocentrism (a word from that unabridged dictionary) got this treatment in the past, homosexuals are getting it now.

As a gay man who believes in God and His country, raising children in a committed same-sex relationship, I’m a pretty damming piece of evidence that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage.

But in an attempt to make people like me “go away,” the Boy Scouts say that I don’t believe in God, Mormons say I am unpatriotic, Catholics say that I can’t get into heaven, and Republicans say I can’t raise children.

Just lying doesn’t make people like me go away – it just keeps me from fully participating in our economy and society. And that hurts everybody.

It doesn’t matter what somebody’s religious beliefs are, they are never an excuse for teaching lies to our children. Thank you for taking a stand for families by signing SB 777.

Yours,

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Today's letter - Only Lies Separate Gays from God

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I’m just a guy who is trying to be the best husband and father that I can, and I’m willing to work hard for a better world. As a gay man who believes in God and the tradition of getting married, I’m really getting beaten up today, and although I already have God on my side, I could sure use your help too.

Gregg Shields, national spokesman for the Boy Scouts, expressed his organization’s religious beliefs: “Since we were founded, we believe that open homosexuality would be inconsistent with the values that we want to communicate with our leaders.”

Mr. Shields explained a bit more though, saying “A belief in God is also mentioned in the Scout oath. We believe that those values are important. Tradition is important. Our mission is to instill those values in scouts and help them make good choices over their lifetimes.”

It is no accident that Mr. Shields links homosexuals to people who don’t believe in God and don’t follow tradition. It is probably what he was taught. But anybody with the brains God gave geese knows that this is a lie.

I am living proof that homosexuals can and do believe in God and want to follow tradition, perhaps more than anybody – I not only want to carry on my family’s tradition by getting married and sending my kids to Scout Camp, but I also want to achieve that without lying about myself or my family. That’s what the Scout oath is really about.

When Mr. Shields uses lies to separate my family from God, he is also separating my family from Freedom. Mitt Romney pointed out today that "Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone."

I just don’t have the same muscle as The Boy Scouts, The Mormon Church or The State of California. That’s why I need your help to set things straight. I wish you would support the freedom of families like mine to follow their beliefs and traditions. I wish you would support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Today's letter - Pete Knight: In his own words

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

When you vetoed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (and my freedom to marry), you cited “Proposition 22” as last word on same-sex marriage in California. I think it is important to look at what those words are – and what words you support – when you support Proposition 22.

Proposition 22’s author Pete Knight said:

"The man-woman family is the best possible family unit… The woman brings certain characteristics, and the man brings certain characteristics. Homosexuals who want to marry are asking the state to legalize and promote a family unit that is different from the best."

"They talk about equal rights, but there is no right to marriage. ... There is no civil right that says that you should be allowed to marry a man and a man."

"As far as domestic partners are concerned, I think I can accept, and I would be willing to support, domestic partners with limited rights, limited state's rights. …they should have the ability to designate whoever they want to come in and visit with them in a hospital. Those kinds of things are kind of basic, and they don't even need to register as domestic partners to have that happen. There are legal documents, there are legal means, by which they can accomplish that. They can have a will and leave whatever they have to whomever they want. So that's not something that's being denied them. They can have those kinds of things."

"I think, sooner or later, the government is going to have to step in and say, now wait a minute. You can't have a marriage here and not be accepted here. We had a patchwork one time with slavery, and we had to correct it."

"The state would have to teach that this is an acceptable family unit. The state should not be sponsoring or promoting a second-class unit."

This guy sure was good. He was able to convince an entire state of Americans to turn against their principles and say that not all of us are created equal. His success forces me to take time I could be spending with my kids in order to beg for every little scrap that "first-class" units like Britney Spears can get in under an hour. He has managed to redefine marriage as a weapon, and aimed it straight at me.

I wish you, Governor, would do more to thwart this man's injustices, and less to propagate them.

Yours,

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Today's letter - Uruguay has more freedom than America

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I used to get excited when a new country announced recognition of same-sex couples. For example, Uruguay is about to provide equivalent social security, pension, inheritance, and parenting rights to both heterosexual and homosexual couples through a “civil union” structure. I used to see it as a tipping point in the way people saw – and treated – their lesbian and gay brethren.

But with Civil Unions or marriage available throughout almost forty countries representing every continent except Antarctica, I’m starting to instead see it as a countdown until the United States is the last country on earth that fails to allow her lesbian and gay citizens to fully participate in the economy and community.

How can we say America is the “land of the free” when people in Uruguay get social security, pension, inheritance, and parenting rights, while my partner of ten years and I become legal strangers as soon as we step out of our home state? Uruguay!!!!!!

It is truly a global embarrassment that you, Governor, tolerate the negative and divisive bullying tactics that the Campaign for Children and Families (CCF) and other opponents of equality are using to carve out and marginalize an entire group of people based on who they happen to love.

Change begins at home. The next year will be pivotal in the fight between the opponents of equality and fair-minded Californians. I need you to do more than stay silent: please support the freedom to marry so the United States might someday join the world community in treating all of her citizens with dignity and respect.

Yours,

Monday, December 3, 2007

Today's letter - Silently tolerating nonsense

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I like you because you’re a non-nonsense kind of guy. You drive a hummer and smoke cigars regardless of what people say. And just as effectively as you enjoy your own freedoms, you usually defend those of Californians. I would have even voted for you – except for one strange thing: you consistently and mysteriously block same-sex couples from having the freedom to marry.

There were many occasions when you could have stepped up and said something in support of this freedom. Way back when Proposition 22 was just a gleam in Pete Knight’s eye, you could have said “people should be able to do what they want” in the context of gay marriage instead of gay sex. When I was married in San Francisco in 2004 you could have said “we ought to change things so these people can get married legally” instead of just smacking down with the law. When the people and legislature asked you to sign AB 849 in 2005 and AB 43 in 2007, you could have said “I regret having to veto the bill.” Instead you gleefully sent it – and my freedom – back to ground zero.

Thousands of same-sex couples are just trying to make the same commitment of marriage you and Maria were free to make. Why do you tolerate the nonsense of domestic apartheid? Why do you stand silent while freedoms are being trampled?

I really expected more from you.

Yours,

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Today's letter - Sons, daughters and legacy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Like you, I’m a dad who wants the best for his kids – both now, and in their adult lives. While my kids are no less likely to be gay because they have gay parents, the well-publicized research of Psychologist Anthony Bogaert indicates that your son Christopher is twice as likely to be gay as your son Patrick. As a public figure, do you plan to let your childrens’ private sexual orientation affect your public decision making?

I have written before about Dick Cheney who said that he believes “Freedom means Freedom for Everybody,” and Mayor Jerry Sanders who said he cannot tell people they are “less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage than anyone else simply because of their sexual orientation."

Critics have said that both Mr. Sanders and Mr. Cheney let their personal lives influence their decision-making because they have children who are gay. But to see what happens when public figures make decisions in spite of their family, look no further than your late friends Representative Sonny Bono and State Senator Pete Knight.

Despite co-authorship of DOMA from one and the notorious Proposition 22 from the other, their children are just as gay as the Cheney’s. Mr. Knight’s son even married his love Joe Lazzaro in San Francisco – a marriage later annulled by his own father’s law. These kids are living full lives, yet not able to participate fully in our economy and community because of who they love and their fathers’ legacy.

Nothing any of these men said would have stopped their kids from becoming who they are. But on the way two of these men did things to make the world better for their kids, and two worked to make it worse. Yes, perhaps Mr. Sanders and Mr. Cheney let their decisions be influenced by their personal lives instead of political directives, but the world is better for it.

I want my kids to have the freedom to marry the person that they like and love – regardless of their religion, race or gender. I would hope you would want the same. I invite you to speak out about how important it is for our kids to have the freedom to marry regardless of their sexual orientation. Who knows? It might be in your personal best interest too.

Yours,

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Today's letter - Salvation Army Undermines World AIDS Effort

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today is World AIDS Day. It’s an awful disease. Government is not doing enough, and the religious are doing even less.

The US branch of the Salvation Army ignores this day to ring bells in suburbia. They divert money from direct aid in order to block the only things that are shown to stop the disease: needle exchange, condoms, and commitments like same-sex marriage. They use the excuse of religion to pick and choose who they help – reserving food baskets and employee health care for people who meet their myopic definition of family.

Money can not “do the most good” when it is dispensed with an agenda influenced not by compassion but by judgment. Nobody can help people when they hate them.

I wish you would say something this holiday season about how the Salvation Army is undermining the fight against AIDS with its old-testament evangelical superstitiously-based policies. The Salvation Army may be entitled to their beliefs, but Californians deserve to know what beliefs they are funding.

Yours,

Friday, November 30, 2007

Today's letter - Death to the Infidels, the sick, the poor, the young and the different

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I think that we are all on the edge of our seats about the plight of Gillian Gibbons, the teacher who was arrested in Sudan after she let her class name a teddy bear “Mohammed.” Yesterday, 600 protesters poured out of mosques chanting “By soul, by blood, I will fight for the Prophet Mohammed" and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad."

This seems so alien and so backwards to us, I think, because the punishment does not seem appropriate to the crime. Who would call for somebody’s death for trying to do good? Thank God this can’t happen here in America. Or can it?

Religion makes Americans do unspeakable things to each other, with the full sanction of the Government. How many people will die unnecessarily because we have blocked stem cell research for six years? How many people will get AIDS unnecessarily because we blocked needle exchange and access to condoms? How many women will die in childbirth because we blocked access to basic sex education? How many gay teens will commit suicide because we block their hope of marriage?

All these ridiculous laws cause great harm by punishing people who have done nothing wrong, in order to satisfy a few religious whiners who lack the tolerance and goodwill to respect the life and liberty of their neighbors. I’m sure we look as irrational and intolerant to outsiders as Sudan does to us.

I am proud of you for stepping up to do the right thing on many of these issues, such as supporting stem-cell research, signing AB 110 for state funding of needle exchange programs, and signing AB 629 for truthful sex education – a critical life skill.

I wish you would join the people and the legislature on one more issue: tearing down the special exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. This unjustifiable ban costs the state money, deprives citizens of their personal liberty, and punishes committed couples for doing nothing wrong. Really, you don’t even need to sign anything – just start talking about how the punishment of Domestic Partnership does not fit the crime of Love.

Yours,

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today's letter - Hate costs Dough

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I wrote to you in July as an angry taxpayer about the cost of limiting marriage to heterosexual couples as revealed by The Williams Institute at UCLA.

Their recent analysis for Maryland revealed that their 8,000 same-sex couples, if married, would attract about $100 million of spending and $14 million in tax revenue EACH YEAR.

By comparison, their 2004 analysis of California showed that the 1977 ban on marriage costs us $16 Billion in spending and $25 million in tax revenue EACH YEAR.

As a taxpayer, I sure could use a slice of that dough, but as a gay man I would rather have the freedom to get married.

Whether it is fiscal responsibility, or just the right thing to do, I wish you would end your support of the costly ban on gay marriage and instead support the freedom to marry for all Californians.

Yours,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Today's letter - Chinese are vilified, but not vile

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer David Pierson wrote a wonderful article about the “secret tunnels” in Fresno’s Chinatown in their November 26 edition. According to urban legend, the tunnels were created so the residents could crawl around without ever seeing daylight and people from the white side of the tracks could reach Chinatown speak-easies undetected. According to historians, though, the tunnels were actually fabricated by xenophobes in order to make the Chinese people seem less than human.

Phil Choy, past president of the Chinese Historical Society of America, explained that "The 19th century was an extremely racist climate. There had always been an attempt to remove the Chinese. You had this population of undesirables. The more mysterious they make us, the better."

I believe the historians have this one right. As a Californian relegated to a Domestic Partnership, I have seen firsthand how the Opponents of Equality use rumors and outright lies to push my community’s relationships underground and demonize us as people.

The damage imposed on same-sex families isn’t quite as bad as the atrocities performed against Chinese-Americans, but it is the same devious twist of logic that turns one group of people into cockroaches by creating a mysterious network of tunnels, that turns another group of people into sexual deviants by creating a strange ‘alternative’ to marriage.

I am very upset at you, Governor, for supporting the lies and rumors that are used to put people down, instead of supporting the freedom to marry that would bring them up.

Yours,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Today's letter - Buying with Dignity and Fairness

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The Human Rights Campaign released their annual Buying Guide for Equality last week. In addition to rankings for brands and stores, it has fun marketing facts, such as “77% of heterosexuals are likely to consider a brand that is known to provide equal workplace benefits above one that does not” and “1 in 4 adults say they have switched products or service providers because they found a competing company that supports causes that benefit the GLBT community.”

It is not shocking that there are so many companies with high ratings – all you have to do is treat all your employees with dignity and fairness regardless of their sexual orientation. What is surprising is that there are entertainment companies with less than perfect scores (Vivendi Universal scored 35) and that there still companies with zeros – like Exxon Mobil Corp.

Businesses understand that treating your employees with dignity and fairness is not only right, but also profitable. When is California going to learn this?

I wish you would end your support of special rights for heterosexuals and instead support a California that gives all of her citizens the same freedom, the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Monday, November 26, 2007

Today's letter - The Checkered Game of Life

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Milton Bradley created the Game of Life in 1860. The game has had many variations but has always included ‘marriage’ as a milestone signifying the addition of a member to the family and an occasion for ‘gifts’ from the other players.

While the game has no separate provision for “domestic partnership” it also has no restriction on the gender of the partners in the marriage. Players can choose for themselves to put in a pink or blue peg.

I don’t understand why something that was so simple to understand in 1860 is so difficult to comprehend today. I wish you, Governor, would end your support of special rights for some relationships and instead support the freedom to marry for all families. It is, after all, a milestone in the Game of Life.

Yours,

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Today's letter - In-laws are people too

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I’m sorry to hear that your mother-in-law, Eunice Schriver, is in the hospital.

I wish I could have a mother-in-law. The woman who fills that role is just as vibrant, just as delightful and just as much of a person as Eunice – but because of the ban on gay marriage that you support, she can’t be my mother-in-law.

I wish the best for Eunice and your family during this difficult time, and encourage you to relish this relationship that only the special right of marriage can provide.

Yours,

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Today's letter - Same is not a shame

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Last night a friend of mine made an interesting observation. He pointed out that traditionally, marriage has been about ‘sameness.’ Same religion, same interests, same city, same house, same race, same bed.

Why would it be so strange to also have the same sex? Wearing each others’ clothes is no longer ‘weird’ but rather efficient. Being able to use the same locker room at the gym is quite practical. Not having to worry about putting the toilet seat down is quite a peacemaker too.

They say that the exception proves the rule. Just like there are exceptions to sameness, there are exceptions to differences. Please, support the freedom for same-sex couples to make the same commitment of marriage that same-religion, same-location, same-interests, same-house, same-bed, same-race couples can – and do – make every day. Please support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Today's letter - Lincoln vs. Douglas

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Abraham Lincoln constantly ranks among the three top U.S. presidents. Before he became president, though, he spent a lot of time arguing against a guy named Stephen A. Douglas.

Senator Douglas believed that in a democracy the people should have the right to decide whether or not to allow slavery in their territory, rather than have such a decision imposed on them by Congress. Each state would decide if they were a “free” state or a “slave” state.

Lincoln said about the act, “I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it…enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites [and] causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because [it insists] that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.”

In his election bid for Senator, Lincoln identified the problem with giving states the right to discriminate: "'A house divided against itself cannot stand.'(Mark 3:25) I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other."

Lincoln won more popular votes, but Douglas won more seats and was elected to Congress.

Just so the metaphor is not lost on you, Governor, gay marriage is a battle just like slavery was 150 years ago. Whether through states rights or a Constitutional amendment, making some people more free than others only makes us all half-free. The only way to achieve freedom for all is to give all the freedom to marry.

That freedom must start at home. Please, make California a free state and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Today's letter - Thank God for Happiness

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Happy Thanksgiving!

At the dinner table this afternoon my mother told me that her friend Harold had shown her pictures of his grandchildren for the first time last week. She said that he hadn’t wanted to show them because he felt bad that they would “never have grandkids of their own.”

If I had been less blessed, I would have never have found my 'soulmate,' been Domestic Partnered and pursued surrogacy, and they wouldn’t have grandkids. But life has been bountiful for me. My parents are grandparents, and now they are happy for Harold, Harold is happy for them, and I am happy that they are happy. Yeah happy!

On this day of giving thanks, I want to thank you for giving California an environment where lesbian and gay families can exist, and giving me the freedom to ask my government to get off of my back and let these couples wed. Please support the freedom to marry, and make more happy people.

Yours,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Today's letter - Girlie-men Against Equality

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I’m pretty sick of these conservative whiners. We can’t do stem cell research, we can’t drink or gamble, we can’t give citizenship to immigrants, we can’t have sex out of wedlock, we can’t get married – or the terrorists will win, society will collapse, and the world will end.

Normally I just ignore people who pretend to speak for God, but when they use the Bible as a weapon and aim it at helpless innocents, I have to step up and say something.

We don’t know what God thinks of gay marriage, but I do know that my life would be profoundly better if I could wed. Not one person would be harmed in the process. The terrorists won’t win, society won’t collapse, and the world will go on – perhaps a little bit better without the whining from Girlie-men Against Equality.

Yours,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Today's letter - Do Good Work

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Like many Californians, I’m not profoundly religious, and the Bible is a big puzzle. So I rely on people of faith to help me interpret that book.

The Most Reverend Jefferts Schori, a bishop of the Episcopal Church, told a congregation confused about the role of homosexuality in scripture that "Jesus didn't say, 'Sit there and throw words at each other,' He said, 'Get out there and heal the sick and help the poor.' "

You know, she is right. You don’t get into heaven by punishing people here on earth. You get there by helping them.

I wish you and your Government would help couples like us get married, instead of punishing us for doing nothing wrong. Then you could focus on your budget and the churches could concentrate on helping people.

Yours,

Monday, November 19, 2007

Today's letter - the people's behavior reflects their leader

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I was reading “this day in history” and I believe that today’s events can teach us a lot about how to achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In 1978 Jim Jones’ cult committed mass suicide; in 1969 Kennedy’s Apollo 12 landed on the moon, and in 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address celebrating the end of the civil war and “a new birth of freedom.”

These three events would not have occurred without the participation of the people involved and the work of the leaders whose vision inspired them. Whether we are reaching for the stars, freedom for all, or something more sinister, the behavior of the people is simply a reflection of the leader.

If the people of California want to reward stable relationships with the stability of marriage, or if they want to punish lesbian and gay citizens by excluding them from matrimony, the choice is theirs. Which choice they make depends on the leader.

So my pursuit of life, liberty and happiness is in your hands, Governor. Are you going to play partisan politics with my relationship, or are you going to tell the people of California that freedom means freedom for everybody? History will not remember the people’s choice, but it could remember yours.

Yours,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Today's letter - Equal Freedom is the only Equality

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A friend asked me why I say “freedom to marry” instead of “marriage equality.” I believe that the answer could help you be a better Governor, and maybe someday, Senator.

You see, when you talk to focus groups and they hear “equality” they think of the rights that married couples get and how gay people either don’t deserve the same rights or can get them other ways. But anybody with the brains God gave geese knows that people don’t choose marriage because of the rights – they choose it because they want to.

By instead talking about freedom, people realize that whatever they believe about the rights and responsibilities of marriage, people should have the freedom to choose it for themselves; whatever they believe the bible says about homosexual relationships, people should have the freedom to exercise their own religious beliefs; whatever you believe the law says about gay marriage, a higher law says you shouldn’t interfere with the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

Equality talks about rights, but really the only right that matters is freedom. That you would deny some people equal rights is debatable; that you would deny them the freedom to make their own choices is reprehensible and anti-American.

Yours,

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Today's letter - Make government a partner in my life

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

At your inauguration four years ago today, you said “I will not rest until the people of California come to see their government as a partner in their lives, not a roadblock to their dreams.”

My dream is to get married. That makes you a roadblock.

You demonstrated at your inauguration that you are a great speaker, and in your tenure that you are a strong leader. You don’t have to override the people on the issue of same-sex marriage, but you would be less of a business-as-usual partisan obstacle to freedom if you were to use your great oratory skills to lead the people to do what is right.

I believe in my heart that the only way to “achieve the dream that is California” is to bring the same freedoms to everybody.

Yours,

Friday, November 16, 2007

Today's letter - You don't have to override the people to lead them

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

You vetoed AB 43 because you didn't want to override the vote of the people. But you don't have to override the people to lead them.

You could do a lot of good by teaching people what they should have learned in kindergarten: it is not acceptable to treat some people as though they are less human, less a part of society, or less worthy of a relationship than others.

Freedom ought to mean freedom for everybody. Please consider supporting my freedom to marry.

Yours,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Today's letter - This joy remains tinged with sadness

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Next week, three generations of our family will gather around the dinner table: us, our newborn twins, and all four of our parents. It is amazing to watch our parents glow in the pride of their grandchildren – the first on both sides of the family.

Yet, this joy remains tinged with sadness. Unlike our parents, my fiancée and I are blocked from marriage. I am upset at being excluded from the time-tested security the law provides married couples, but what really makes me sad is that it deprives our parents of the hope of seeing their children’s wedding. All of the gratitude, joy and unqualified support that will be in that room that day are not going to create a world where we are free to marry.

We will be the only unwed couple at the table - the ones who had our kids out of wedlock - and until we can wed, we will always be thinking there is a small sense of shame when we – despite all our hard work – are grouped with Anna Nicole and Larry Birkhead as our parents shake their heads and cluck their tongues about the fallout from their unwed escapades.

I have been finding ways to convert the shame into anger, and I was surprised at how easy it is: we simply blame the fact that we are treated as less than equal, less perfect and less human than other couples directly on you, Governor.

You could have signed AB 849 in 2005; you could have signed AB 43 this past October; you could have said that you think all Californians should have the same freedom to marry. But you did none of those things.

It will take a lot more than you to spoil our Thanksgiving, but I don’t think I’m being greedy to say that I wish your support could have been one more thing for which to be thankful, rather than one more thing over which to shake our heads and cluck our tongues.

Yours,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Today's letter - A good team at bat, but one bad player put us way behind on human rights

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I knew California was the first state to end the ban on interracial marriages (1948) and I always assumed we would continue to be leaders and proponents for all civil rights. Imagine my surprise when I discovered California didn’t add sexual orientation to its protected classes until ten years after Wisconsin (1982). We were also out-scored by Massachusetts (1989), Connecticut (1991) and Hawaii (1991).

Likewise with marriage equivalency, we were behind the ball. Even Hawaii had domestic partnerships before we did (1997) and Vermont scored in 2000, Our Domestic-Partnership-is-the-same-as-marriage law didn’t get to home base until 2005, five years too late.

On marriage, we were poised to take the lead when love went to bat in San Francisco in the spring of 2004, and when our legislature became the first to channel that human need from the people to the governor. But Massachusetts won the World Series of civil rights when they approved marriage and you struck us out – becoming not part of the first state to end the ban on same-sex marriage, but the first governor to unilaterally block the people’s freedom to marry.

I am embarrassed that you took away our victory then, and embarrassed that you refuse to stand on the side of freedom and equality now. Please stop telling your friends, colleagues and neighbors that their relationships – and their humanity – is less important than yours, and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Today's letter - My Religious Belief

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I want to get married, but my quest is blocked by people quoting scripture and a Governor who appeases them. While the part of scripture they trumpet seems to admonish gay sex, another part of the bible tells a very different story about same-sex marriage.

The story of Ruth and Naomi, a same-sex couple, starts out with Naomi practically dead with grief and despair. Ruth resurrects her with a moving speech that includes the line you might have said at your own wedding: "till death do us part." By the end of the story, Ruth and her "beard" Boaz have a child while the women of Bethlehem really know what’s going on, declaring that "a son has been born to Naomi."

We can disagree about what the bible says about sex, but we cannot disagree about the message that God is sending us with the marriage of Ruth and Naomi: that love comes in many forms, and all loving couples deserve the freedom to marry. I wish you, as Governor, would get out of the way of my exercise of my beliefs and let me wed.

Yours,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Today's letter - Unlicensed to Wed

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Our nanny’s friend was pulled over for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, and her car was impounded for thirty days because she was an unlicensed driver. This seems like a good law, because it gets the people who are ten times as likely to be involved in an accident off of our roads. But it also punishes people who cannot get a license no matter how good a driver they are - specifically illegal immigrants.

Los Angeles and some other communities think this is so awful that they have stopped enforcing the law while the Legislature tries to come up with a fair solution. From the perspective of somebody on the road, giving a license to those with the skills to drive regardless of their citizenship does seem like a better idea than just taking their car.

My finance and I are blocked from getting a marriage license because we are a same-sex couple. Like illegal immigrants, we are not blocked because of our skill, but because of something outside of our control. Unlike illegal immigrants, we are citizens paying taxes and casting votes. From the perspective of somebody in a relationship, giving people a license to wed regardless of their gender does seem like a better idea than fabricating some elaborate untested “domestic partnership” structure to impound their relationship. .

San Francisco and some other communities think this punishment is so awful they have stopped enforcing the bad law and issued marriage licenses anyway, but you blocked them from continuing. The legislature even came up with a fair solution, but you vetoed it without even a reading.

Really, Governor, why do you tolerate it when places like Los Angeles evade the law punishing illegal immigrants, while you slam down with all your might at places like San Francisco who evade a law that is punishing your citizens and neighbors? I wish you would consider joining the people and the Legislature in supporting the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Today's letter - a right or a privilege

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Is marriage a right or a privilege?

If it is a right, why do I not have it?

If it is a privilege, what do I have to do to earn it?

Really, please Governor, why won't you just let me get married?

Yours truly,

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Today's letter - Tear down this last wall

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall. Apparently you can only keep people living with freedom apart from those without for so long.

Just like the Wall divided Westerners and Easterners in Germany, the wall restricting access to marriage divides heterosexual and same-sex couples in the United States. Like Berlin, they are neighbors; like Berlin, they are ‘equal’ but not the same.

People on one side have access to a time-tested and socially acceptable structure that everybody understands, while those on the other side are deprived the dignity of even making their own choices about commitment.

So, Governor, this barrier to freedom has to go; I wish you would say that you support the freedom to marry and tear down this last great wall.

Yours,

Friday, November 9, 2007

Today's letter - Separating sex and marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I just want to get married like everybody else. I believe that those who are opposed to giving me that freedom are confused about what I would do with it. Some groups claim that gays want to get married so they can get "special rights" and others so we can molest children.

I know that you come from a background where bodybuilders are often called stupid and homosexual, and you have spent your whole career correcting those assumptions. You must know how frustrating it can be to know the truth, yet have people perpetuate lies.

Parents want to do what's best for their children, but anybody with the brains God gave geese knows that blocking my marriage does not protect kids from their "celebrate" parish priest and that punishing me when I have done nothing wrong does not stop wicked Uncle Ernie. If parents really wanted to do the best thing for their kids, they would not let pedophiles hide behind the smokescreen of heterosexuality, and they would not teach their kids that stereotyping a disliked group is OK - be it bodybuilders or homosexuals.

I wish you would work with fair-minded Californians to dispel the myths about same-sex marriage and support the freedom to marry for me and for all Californians.

Yours,

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Today's letter - not all Republicans hate gay people

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I started out writing this letter intending to point out that there were a lot of Republicans who would let me get married to my partner of ten years.

We all know about Vice President Dick Cheney saying ''freedom means freedom for everyone,'' John McCain stating that "The constitutional amendment [banning gay marriage] strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans," and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders who refused “to tell an entire group of people in our community they were less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage than anyone else."

But then the trail ran dry. With all of the Congressmen and Governors who trust their careers to lesbian and gay staffers; all who attend official ceremonies where gay couples are treated as married people; all who talk about compassion, freedom and the value of the family – with all those people, I would think there would be more than three that support the freedom to marry over the oppression of a minority’s basic human rights.

I guess the kind of people that truly believe “freedom means freedom for everyone” either don’t become Republicans, or conveniently forget about their personal convictions when they step onto the campaign trail.

I wish that you would remember why you became a Republican - “free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military” - and like Mr. Cheney, Mr. McCain and Mr. Sanders, let me get married.

Yours,

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Today's letter - What's Wrong with San Francisco?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As a Californian who is proud of his state, I am embarrassed by what happened in Kentucky. In a last-ditch effort to get their candidate re-elected, The Republican Party paid Pat Boone to record a warning that if the Democrat nominee is elected Governor, the state will become an awful place, "like San Francisco."

Of course, Kentucky could be so lucky as to have the thriving economy, tourism and world-class reputation of San Francisco, but Ernie Fletcher's reelection campaign makes it sound otherwise.

In the recorded message, sent to registered Republicans by telephone, Mr. Boone explains that "Ernie Fletcher is a typical Kentuckian, he's worked long and hard for the state, its people, and its traditions ... and now he faces a man who wants his job who has consistently supported every homosexual cause: same-sex marriage, gay adoption, special rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual, even transgender individuals. ... you [don't] want a governor who'd like Kentucky to be like another San Francisco. Please reelect Ernie Fletcher."

I don't know why, in 2007, people still seem to think that personal liberty is a bad thing, or that equal rights are special rights, but San Francisco deserves better.

As a fellow Governor and Republican, could you have a chat with Ernie Fletcher? Maybe you could explain if he didn't bash minorities and focused on what he could do for the people instead of against the people, he would not have lost by a landslide. In contrast, Ernie's apparent nemesis, Mayor Gavin Newsom, even survived a major scandal and was reelected.

Perhaps the next time your Republican Party consultants want you to go negative on the homosexuals, you might remind them of what happens when people go anti-gay. We wouldn't want San Francisco to become a Kentucky.

Faithfully Yours,

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Today's letter - Changing Forms Costs Money so Reap what you Sow

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

I wrote to you in July to ask for your help in getting the EDD to change form DE1 to reference Domestic Partnerships on par with HUS/WIFE, and you were able to steer us to the right place to get that change rolling. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will. Thank you.

Today I am attaching a communication that I have started with the State Controller’s Office and the Los Angeles Treasurer and Tax Collector asking for accommodation of my same-sex domestic partnership on the cover letter for the form for “Excess Proceeds from Sale of Tax Defaulted Property.” This is just one example of the scores of forms that offensively violate the constitutional ban on discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. I need your help to make sure that the form gets fixed.

The letter should be revised to read “This includes California Registered Domestic Partners, husbands, wives and all joint tenants.”

At a time when you are trying to cut state agency’s budgets by 10% it seems to me that extending the freedom to marry to all committed couples would have been the fiscally conservative thing to do. But until I can get married, I would like to ask you to ask the State Controller to change these forms to conform with the Constitution and the need all of us has to have my government respect my basic dignity.

Thank you for your help,

Monday, November 5, 2007

Today's letter - it was we the people, not heterosexual males, who formed the union

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

It has been 135 years since Susan B. Anthony voted in the 1872 presidential election. She was arrested barely two weeks later because it was illegal at the time for women to vote.

In her defense, she argued that the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution said that all "persons" born in the US are citizens who can’t be denied the privileges of citizenship – then she pointed out if she were male, her behavior would have never been questioned.

"It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people - women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government: the ballot."
It took almost fifty years, but Susan B. Anthony managed to “redefine” voting laws to end the exclusion of women.

When you vetoed the Religious Tolerance and Civil Marriage Protection Act you said it was because of Proposition 22, a voter initiative that did not change either the Constitution of this State or this Country. You said I should be happy to enjoy the blessings of Domestic Partnership, and blocked me from making the commitment of marriage just because of the gender of the person I love.

I respectfully ask you to join us in the spirit of Susan B. Anthony and help us to “redefine marriage” so that all committed couples can make the commitment of marriage.

Yours,

Letter to Dianne Feinstein - Leslie Southwick was confirmed on your watch

Senator Dianne Feinstein
11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 915
Los Angeles, CA 90025

November 5, 2007

RE: Senate Judiciary Committee Endorsement of Leslie Southwick

Dear Senator Feinstein:

I wrote to you in August about the nomination of Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit and your role on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Thank you for your kind reply. In it you wrote that a candidate “should be able to demonstrate a commitment to applying the law fairly and impartially” and mentioned his volunteer tour in Iraq.

Tell me what application of law lets a judge “fairly and impartially” take away
a woman’s 8-year-old boy just because she is - as Judge Southwick put it - a“homosexual.”

People who do not differentiate between sex and parenting are applying their intellect and analytical skills to politics and not judgment, as Judge Southwick demonstrated. You squandered your responsibility as a senior member of the committee and as a human being by passing along this demonstrated bigot to the senate.

As I told you then and I tell you now, if you cannot keep the power that California voters have given you through long tenure, then we will be more than happy to take it back and invest in somebody else.

Sincerely,

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Today's letter - Looking for answers

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I'm just an ordinary guy who is a little naive about how politics works. I'm hoping you could help us resolve a bet. My friend Sharla and I are trying to figure out why you would deprive your constituents the freedom to marry. Sharla says it's because you personally don't want the gays to get married - because of your church and stuff - but I say it's because you don't want to lose the money and votes that the Religiously Righteous keep giving you.

Either way you have to have some good selfish reason for spending $24 million of taxpayer money each year to block committed couples from making the commitment of marriage, and blocking churches from performing the ceremonies.

So, Governor, just between us, why are you blocking the political will of the people; why are you against the freedom to marry?

Yours,

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Today's letter - "yours"

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

You might be wondering why I sign my letters “Yours.”

You asked the Attorney General to annul my marriage in 2004. You blocked my freedom to choose marriage when you vetoed AB 849 two years ago and AB 43 last month. You refuse to stand with me in support of freedom and equality, and you insist that I endure as a second-class citizen until a seven-year-old referendum winds its way through the courts.

You control my family’s ability to access the security and stability that marriage provides, and you keep meddling with my human rights by doing things to me that you wouldn’t do to Britney Spears. You treat me like I am, actually,

Yours,

Friday, November 2, 2007

Today's letter - nobody wants to be a 'test case'

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The story of the Utah couple who took in their niece's four children broke my heart. Gregg Valdez and his partner Mike Oberg offered their familiar home so the kids could stay at the same school and stay close to their mother while she was in rehab. But Gregg and Mike were unable to get married, hence they would be violating a state law that forbids unmarried couples from becoming foster or adoptive parents, and on Monday the children were ordered moved an hour away to live with their grandmother.

"We all came to the same conclusion -- we didn't want to get involved in a big court battle, and we wanted to keep the kids together," Valdez explained. "I could have fought it, but I didn't think it would be in the best interest of the kids. It'll be hard at first, but I know they'll be taken care of."

Thank God California doesn't ban "cohabitation," but we're almost as bad for forbidding marriage. As long as couples are "unmarried" they are going to be treated as less than equal. This one bad law - the one you could have ended with AB 43 - puts couples into uncharted legal territory anytime anything unusual happens. They face a "big court battle" over every little thing. It punishes committed couples just for being gay - and their kids suffer.

Only marriage guarantees access to a time-tested legal framework. Only marriage keeps what happened to Gregg and Mike and their four cousins from happening in our state, or to our kids.

I wish you would support the freedom to marry, especially when the alternative is letting hate and intolerance divide families.

Yours,

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Today's letter - Catholic Schools Teach Hate

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I just read a wonderful article in the Los Angeles Times titled Many Catholic schools fight to survive where the author, Carla Rivera, attributes the 40% decline in enrollment at Catholic schools to families leaving the urban core. As a recent dad, I think the real reason why enrollment is plummeting is that parents don't want to send their kids to places that teach intolerance.

Anybody who has driven to Santa Monica lately knows that the area is not suffering from a lack of people. Over the last seven years, more than half of the population has not left the West Side. I do know one thing that happened seven years ago: the Catholic Church started attacking lesbian and gay families, starting with Proposition 22 and an attempted Constitutional Amendment, then following up with the 2004 "Defense of Marriage" acts now spanning 27 states.

The Boy Scouts have suffered a 35% decline in enrollment since 1977, and they too blamed it on urban shifts and the rise of alternative programs. But the Girl Scouts have the same external pressures and their enrollment actually rose 3% in the same time. The difference? The Boy Scouts fought for and won the right to exclude gay kids and leaders, while the Girl Scouts welcome everybody equally.

Polls conducted by the Barna Group show that in 2004, 52% of Christians aged 16-29 described Christianity as "hypocritical — saying one thing doing another," and 80% of Christians polled picked "anti-homosexual" as a negative adjective describing Christianity.

As a parent, I think it would be irresponsible to send my kids to a place that taught that some families are better than others, or that their place in heaven depends on who they punish here on earth. A couple of years ago I might have thought differently, but looking in their eyes now I realize that hate is taught, and it is worth every penny to send them someplace where they will learn God's love instead of the Catholic Church's hate.

I wish their hate didn't extend to my government. It's too late for you to sign AB 43, but it is time to say that it is wrong to block the Freedom to Marry.

Yours,

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today's letter - What scares me

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Happy Halloween!

Our kids dressed as Chinese toys - a Jack-in-the-box and a little spinning top - and we parents dressed as toy makers with name tags that said "Project Lead" and "Lead Engineer".

That's what scares our kids. What scares me is that there are people who hate gay people so much that they are willing to single us out for special exclusion from the freedom to marry. These Opponents of Equality think nothing of human rights because they think we are less than human. That's scary.

So what did your family dress as? Something scary to kids, or scary to adults?

Yours,

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Today's letter - Orson Welles causes panic

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today is the 69th Anniversary of Orson Welles' radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. His convincing broadcast caused panic in the real world. I want to tell you how the seven pro-LGBT bills that you signed are bringing on the real end of our world, an apocalypse stalled only by your veto of AB 43.

Mona Passignano, a spokesperson for Focus on the Family Action, said that the seven bills will "have a devastating impact on churches and Christian families in the state for years to come."

Unlocking the door to the Four Horsemen's stable is SB 777 that calls for public school administrators and teachers to work towards protecting students from harassment and bullying.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports that SB 777 will require "all California public schools to positively portray homosexuality to children as young as kindergarten."

Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families (CCF), explains that "textbooks could be forbidden from portraying marriage as only between a man and a woman; textbooks could be required to present homosexual historical figures; and sex-specific Homecoming King and Queen contests could be forced to change. … This means children as young as five years old will be mentally molested in school classrooms."

"The legislation might even mandate unisex restrooms."

"Now that SB 777 is law," says Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute, "schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation."

But SB 777 is not alone. LifeSiteNews.com explains that AB 14 "prohibits state funding for any program that does not support transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality. This means state-funded social services operated by churches and other houses of faith, which provide essential services to children and adults, could dry up."

Thank God that you vetoed AB 43, the bill that would have brought us the freedom to marry, and did your part to preserve the hatred and intolerance that is apparently the only thing between us and the end of the world.

Yours,

Monday, October 29, 2007

Today's letter - Republcan Party has a proud history but a tarnished present

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

It’s Elephant in the Room week. Today I would like to talk about how the Republican Party’s broke with its historic support of freedom in order to restrict the freedom to marry.

On last night’s Brothers and Sisters, “Robert McCallister,” Rob Lowe’s character who is running for President as a Republican, was under fire because his fiancée isn’t as far right as some Republicans would like. He responded by reminding us that Lincoln freed the slaves, Teddy Roosevelt established national parks, and Eisenhower desegregated schools – Republicans all.

So it was ironic that in 2004, George Bush chose the Roosevelt Room to call for a Constitutional Amendment blocking access to marriage. In his speech, President Bush argued that the marriages underway at the time in Massachusetts, San Francisco and New Mexico were “defiance of the law by local officials,” while the Defense of Marriage laws in 38 states represented the political consensus of the nation.

And so the spiritual leader of the Republican party made it clear that politics was more important than liberty, votes more important than equality, and political consensus more important than individual choice. What a change from the Republican party of the past!

Thank God that Congress had the wisdom to realize that these marriages by the people represented the true consensus of the people, and stopped the Defense of Marriage amendment.

I wish you, Governor, had the wisdom to realize that your veto of AB 43 was not only a disservice to families like mine, but also an insult to the tradition of the Party of Lincoln. Please consider supporting the freedom to marry in the future. The Elephant in the room demands it.

Yours,

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Today's letter - Slippery Slope or Final Step towards Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

It’s Elephant in the Room week. The first I would like to tackle is the “slippery slope.” In 2005 when I was calling your office to ask you to sign AB 849, the 2005 Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, one of your staffers said that “if gays can marry, there’s nothing to stop people from marrying their pets.” I was astonished that anybody would still think this way – but out of respect for their belief, I feel compelled to respectfully crush it.

There are many logical consequences of redefining marriage to accommodate a group, such as polygamy, incestuous marriages, marriages of convenience and human-animal marriage. This would be a concern – if we were redefining marriage.

But we’re not redefining marriage. We are simply ending the special exclusions that have been written into marriage over time, like we did with interfaith couples in 1905 and interracial couples in 1948, and we should do with sexual orientation.

Ever since Ruth and Naomi vowed “until death do us part,” marriage has always been just “an exclusive contractual relationship between two persons.” Pets, minors and multiple people are in no danger of entering into a contractual relationship now or ever.

What is far more dangerous – the real “slippery slope” – is creating the right to exclude groups from marriage. Once we start down this slope, we will quickly be able to ban foreigners, the elderly, prisoners, Protestants and Britney Spears. Some will argue that this might be a good idea, but that is a separate slope and a different discussion.

So you can see that allowing all couples access to marriage is not a march down a slippery slope, but simply the final step toward freedom. I wish you would get on board and support the freedom to marry instead of the right to discriminate.

Yours,

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Today's letter - Don't make me vote for Obama

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I try to pay more attention to my family than to politics, but once in a while a politician says something that makes a lot of sense.

Senator Barack Obama said "I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I ... will continue to fight ... to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division."

What a great and non-partisan concept, this 'tolerance' thing! I wish you would join the Senator by saying "no" to the intolerant gay-haters who made you veto AB 43, and say "yes" to the simple, unifying principle of the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Friday, October 26, 2007

Today's letter - your veto would be OK if you supported marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I consider myself to be a good citizen, and I believe that all committed couples should have the same freedom to choose marriage. Why don't you?

You vetoed AB 43 on a technicality, but you stopped short of saying that you wanted to sign the bill.

You said that you "support current domestic partnership rights" but you do not say that those rights should include marriage.

You have said that there is nothing wrong with being gay, but you have never said there is nothing wrong with gay marriage.

You didn't have to sign AB 43 to support the freedom to marry, but failing to support the freedom to marry is supporting the freedom to discriminate.

That sends the wrong message to the courts and the people: that you believe their right to hate is more important than my right to love. That is not only bad leadership, it is bad citizenship.

Yours,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today's letter - God is punishing us for our intolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I was wondering, Governor, if you think there is a link between our recent wildfire disasters and homosexuality.

Before you roll your eyes, the leaders of the Republican Party’s theological community - Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson – all insist that natural disasters are caused by God’s anger at our tolerance of homosexuals.

A quick survey of California shows that we have not had a major earthquake since Domestic Partnerships were introduced. What has happened nationally?

In 1997, the Florida Legislature introduced the nation’s first Defense of Marriage Act. Shortly thereafter, Pat Robertson warned the city of Orlando, Florida, that a gay celebration the city hosted "will bring about terrorist bombs, it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor." What happened? Nine major hurricanes have devastated Florida including Charley, Ivan, Francis, Jeanne and Wilma, destroying the notoriously anti-gay Coral Ridge Ministries but leaving Orlando untouched.

In 2004, Louisiana passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and recognition of any “identical or substantially similar” legal status. The same year, Massachusetts started legal marriages. The fallout? Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of Louisiana except for New Orleans’ gay village, while Boston won the World Series.

By 2006, twenty-seven of the fifty United States had constitutionally banned same-sex marriage, while Canada had been performing marriages for a year. The result? This year the Canadian dollar passed the US dollar for the first time in 30 years. Oh, and zero Canadian hurricanes, earthquakes, meteors or debilitating wildfires.

My conclusion from these data is that if you attracted the wrath of God and caused
the wildfires, it was not by signing seven pro-LGBT bills, but by vetoing AB 43, the bill that would have extended the freedom of choice God gave us to all California families.

Yours,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today's letter - just one issue

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Some people have criticized me for being a one-issue voter, a label I happily wear. There really is only one issue: how the person we elect is going to pay off the people who put him in power. Some politicians reward those who wrote them checks, others bow to those with nothing but a vote. But how can you tell?

The issue of same-sex marriage is the best test of that mettle: on one side you have the Opponents of Equality whose empires rely on fear-based-fundraising and whose checks flow freely to politicians who stoke that fear; on the other side you have families like mine who are just trying to access the security and simplicity of marriage without hurting anybody. Can the candidate overcome bias and temptation to support freedom, liberty and equality?

The test is crucial. How can you trust a politician on health care reform when he won't make businesses treat employees equally? How can somebody act on education when he teaches discrimination? How can you trust a politician to lead us through disasters like earthquakes and wildfires when he says only some of the people deserve to be married?

When you vetoed AB 43, Governor, you proved what kind of politician you are. It is not too late for you to do what is right and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today's letter - charitable relief organizations serve at their pleasure

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

When wildfires strike, the last thing we want to worry about is keeping our family together. Unfortunately, charitable relief agencies have vastly different policies for dealing with "unmarried" family members.

When asked about "domestic partners" Stacey Grissom, media relations associate for the Red Cross, said "[the] Red Cross is a neutral and impartial organization and we help people who need help. So, we don't help with regards to race, creed, color, religion and sexual orientation. We help people who need to be helped." The Red Cross works with employers to locate information on victims' nearest living relatives. "So in those cases where the next of kin is listed as a domestic partner, that would be a person who would definitely get benefits," she said.

In contrast, The Salvation Army says "Where a man and a woman love each other, sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage. However, in the Christian view, sexual intimacy is not essential to a healthy, full, and rich life. Apart from marriage, the scriptural standard is celibacy." In addition, the Salvation Army refuses to recognize its very own lesbian and gay employees with domestic partnership benefits, and has terminated services in areas where local statutes require this.

With one organization, my partner of ten years and our two kids are treated as a family. With the other, we are considered strangers without access to reunification services or the ability to shelter together.

The only way to end this discrimination is to eliminate the differentiation. It is too late for you to sign AB 43 but it is not too late for you to come out in support of the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Monday, October 22, 2007

Today's letter - If it quacks like a duck, it's a duck

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Like all people, I have guilty pleasures; mine is Desperate Housewives on ABC.

As you may know, last night a gay couple moved onto the street. They introduced themselves as "partners" and Susan got confused, thinking they were co-investors in some business. Silly Susan was embarrassed, but Bob and Lee were humiliated, because their "Green Acres"-inspired relationship was sterilized down to a business transaction because of a word and a cruel law.

Everybody knows what marriage is. Having two sets of laws - and two words - to describe such simple things is just plain wrong.

It is too late for you to sign AB 43, the bill that would have let families like Bob and Lee's choose 'marriage' instead of 'partnership.' But it is not too late for you to support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Today's letter - AIDS Walk

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today was the annual Los Angeles AIDS Walk. Hundreds of thousands of people united to both look for a cure and to provide support for those afflicted.

Every year the number of celebrities and politicians who endorse the event grows larger, and the number of protesters dwindles. APLA raised a record $4M from fair-minded and generous Californians. It is amazing to see what can happen when we are united, not divided.

I believe that one simple and effective way to fight AIDS is to encourage committed couples to make the commitment of marriage. Nothing encourages monogamy and responsibility like marriage, and those principles form the cornerstone of our social attack on AIDS. But it doesn't work when people are blocked from marriage!

You have been an obstacle to same-sex marriage for a long time, including your recent refusal to sign AB 43, but it's not too late for you to end at least one division that is distracting us from fighting AIDS. I wish you would support the freedom to marry for all Californians, and maybe someday you will be able to walk with us instead of against us.

Yours,

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Today's letter - Don't Cross Dumbledore

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

True love comes in many forms. Even the beloved Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and Headmaster of Hogwarts, once found true love according to his creator, J.K. Rowling.

To an audience at Carnegie Hall, Ms. Rowling explained that Dumbledore was smitten by fellow wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who turned out to be a bad wizard. "Falling in love can blind us to an extent," Rowling said of Dumbledore's feelings, adding that Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down." Dumbledore's love, she observed, was his "great tragedy."

Clearly true love crosses wizard-muggle and straight-gay boundaries with ease. That’s why I wish you would get out of the way of true love. It’s too late for you to sign AB 43, but I wish you would support the freedom to marry for me and all Californians.

Yours,

Friday, October 19, 2007

Today's letter - mail bag: "marriage doesn't make love"

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I'm somebody who believes in old-fashioned letters, and the old-fashioned concept that people living together should be married. So today I want to share my response to a YouTuber who read (or rather watched) my July 27 letter to you about upgrading Domestic Partnerships to Marriage.

Dear SIGNAB43:

Its IMPOSSIBLE to love someone FOREVER! sooner or later your love for someone will deminish, its only after your love deminishes where true love can be formed. True love is sometihng like "no matter what happens, i will always love you" kinda like a mother and her kids. Its only after you lose your love for someone, then you can create true love. that will be the ultimate test

JUKIO01

Dear JUKIO01

Well, my "partner" and I have been together for ten years three months (yesterday). We liked and loved each other when we met, and we still like and love each other now. We had two kids through surrogacy in March. We made a commitment to each other and to God to stick together through the rough spots, and it worked to make our love even stronger. We did that without "marriage." So all these hateful laws are not even effective - only hurtful, not just to us, but to the whole idea of "marriage." Like you said, it's true love that makes a family. We passed that test - can we get married now?

SIGNAB43

So, Governor, the kids are asking "why marriage." Your veto of AB 43 combined with our example of true love out of wedlock shows the unfortunate side-effect of "defending marriage" by excluding people: like postal mail in the age of computers, if it is not necessary, it will go away. That would make traditionalists like me really sad.

I wish you had signed AB 43, but it's not too late to save marriage by supporting the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Today's letter - an opportunity to unite, squandered

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Thank you for signing seven LGBT bills into law this session, but I wish you had also signed AB 43 to stop discrimination once and for all.

Signing AB 43 would have sent a clear message to the Opponents of Equality that no one group is more worthy of marriage than another, and all good citizens play by the same rules. A veto lets the Opponents of Equality continue to use access to marriage as a weapon to demoralize LGBT citizens.

Your choice to veto AB 43 simply divides us by our beliefs about discrimination, rather than uniting us with our beliefs about freedom.

Yours,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today's letter - Focus on the Family lies

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Focus on the Family lied, and you swallowed the Kool Aide. Citizenlink.com, the activation network of Focus on the Family, repeatedly refers to Proposition 22 as a "Constitutional Amendment," such as in this article by their Associate Editor, Jennifer Mesko:

One of the bills, AB 43, is another attempt to force same-sex "marriage" onto the residents of California. In 2000, 62 percent of voters passed a constitutional amendment that states, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
That you signed seven LGBT-positive bills this session has poor Dr. Dobson in a thither, which is nice, but all those calls you got in support of your veto were based on misinformation - that Proposition 22 was a Constitutional Amendment.

What changes this from "shame on him" to "shame on you" is that your office did nothing to correct that misinformation, choosing to use it instead as a smoke-screen for vetoing AB 43 and my relationship.

Not everybody knows the gritty details of how Proposition 22 and AB 43 pass in the dark, but you do. You could have explained that Prop 22 covers 308.5 of the Family Code dealing with foreign marriages while AB 43 restores Sections 300 and 302 to their pre-1977 traditional language, "marriage is between two persons." But you choose to ride the Focus on the Family Wrongmobile instead.

Depriving me and my family from making the commitment of marriage is wrong, but using convenient misinformation to deny basic freedom is perhaps worse.

Yours truly,

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Today's letter - your coworker is apparently untrustworthy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As you know, your Chief of Staff, Susan Kennedy, is a wonderful person, as well as an out and proud Lesbian. When you vetoed AB 43, you sent a clear and loud message that you don't think her relationships are as important as yours, and that she should continue to be prevented from marrying even though everybody else can.

You should fire her. I'm sure you can deal with the awkward nature of working with somebody for whom you have demonstrated such open and vile contempt, but how can you trust her with state business if you can't trust her with the choice to marry?

I really don't know anything about the conversations you two have had, but I really don't see any way you could know her as a person and still deprive her of the same freedom to marry that you and everybody else has. You might as well throw her and her family under the bus like you did mine.

Yours,

Monday, October 15, 2007

Today's letter - we thought you were different

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

We thought you were pro-business…

...But you vetoed a bill that would have brought our state $16 Billion of that.

We thought you were pro-religion…

...But then you vetoed a bill that would have let my church perform marriages that it believes in.

We thought you were pro-taxpayer…

...But you vetoed a bill that would have saved us $25 Million a year.

We thought you were pro-family…

...But then you vetoed mine.


We elected you to be different…You proved us wrong.

Yours, unfortunately,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Today's letter - Constitutional Obstacles

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Thank God our founding fathers had the wisdom to block people like you from becoming President.

How does it feel to be blocked from something that everybody else can do?

Yours,

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Today's letter - Most straights support gays

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I am disappointed that you chose to veto AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, but I am not alone.

According to a new Harris Poll, seven out of 10 people said that in the face of verbal attacks they have spoken out for LGBT people.

When the 2,200 respondents were asked why, 6% said their religion forbade them, but 14% said that their religion demanded they speak out for lesbian and gay people under attack.

I am sad that you are one of the 30% that lack the integrity to do what is right. Your veto of AB 43 was not just a slap it my face, it was a kick in the belly of all the people that you are supposed to represent.

Apparently yours,

Friday, October 12, 2007

Message from The Governor

To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 43 without my signature.

As I stated in vetoing similar legislation in 2005, I am proud California is a leader in recognizing and respecting domestic partnerships. I believe that all Californians are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation. I support current domestic partnership rights and will continue to vigorously defend and enforce these rights.

In 2000, the voters approved Proposition 22, a challenge to which is currently pending before the California Supreme Court. I maintain my position that the appropriate resolution to this issue is to allow the Court to rule on Proposition 22. The people of California should then determine what, if any, statutory changes are needed in response to the Court’s ruling.

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Recent Letters