Friday, August 31, 2007

Today's letter - we need it either way

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

When you vetoed AB 849, the 2005 version of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you concluded "If the ban of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, this bill is not necessary. If the ban is constitutional, this bill is ineffective."

With AB 43, the exact opposite is true. If the ban on same-sex couples from marriage is found to be unconstitutional, a bill like AB 43 would be necessary for marriages to commence. If the special ban is constitutional, this bill would be effective at changing a different part of the Family Code than the one currently being examined by the court.

The people will ultimately decide, and AB 43 is the prescription for doing that: a necessary and effective law that would end the ban preventing religious institutions from freely practicing their beliefs and stop the special exclusion of same-sex couples from choosing marriage. I wish you would sign this prescription for the health, safety and security of all California’s families.

Sincerely,

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Today's letter - Consider your counsel before you consider a veto

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

When you vetoed AB 849, the 2005 version of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you said you "do not believe the Legislature can reverse an initiative approved by the people of California" on the advice of your Attorney General, Bill Lockyer.

I don't know why this was relevant to AB 849. The bill would not have "reversed an initiative" but rather changed a 1977 law signed by your current Attorney General, Edmund “Jerry” Brown.

I am worried that your Attorney General's office is biased against the freedom to marry. To defend the state's position, the office wrote "the words 'marry' and 'marriage' have no essential significance under the California Constitution," and that there are no differences between California's registered domestic partners and married couples under state law.

If there are no differences, why does a different section of the Family Code apply to my family and yours? If there are no differences, why are they - and you - opposed to merging them through AB 43? The fact is that same-sex couples have been carved out for special denial of the basic security of marriage that everybody else - including you and your Attorney General - so blithely enjoy, because of a law that your Attorney General signed!

The lesbian and gay communities have joined with the religious communities to ask for the freedom to marry as they choose, while your Attorney General's office is siding with the Opponents of Equality to defend a bad law from 1977 by mischaracterizing it as a voter initiative.

It is offensive to my sense of justice to have the Attorney General working harder for your personal protection than for the people of this state. Please sign AB 43 so we can get the Attorney General out of the business of deciding who should – and should not – have the freedom to marry.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Today's letter - freedom to marry is the Christian thing to do

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As a Christian, I believe that all couples should be able to get married, and that my Church should have the freedom to perform the ceremonies that it believes in.

Unfortunately, California's ban on gay marriage, installed by the legislature in 1977, blocks same-sex couples from getting married and churches from marrying them.

Jesus was silent on the issue of homosexuality, but he was crystal clear on the sin of judgment. As Luke described in last Sunday's gospel, "29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last." (Luke 13:22-30).

AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, would end government-sanctioned judgment and let committed gay couples get married just like everybody else.

We can disagree about God's opinion of homosexuality, but we must agree on the right to follow God in our own ways. Please sign AB 43 and give us freedom instead of legislated salvation.

Yours in Christ,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Today's letter - The Party of Lincoln should support freedom to marry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

As a Republican, I believe all Californians deserve the freedom to marry.

We can't focus on free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering taxes and strengthening the military when we have people preaching salvation through legislation and denying freedoms to get there. It always backfires and undermines the party.

Abraham Lincoln anticipated this when he said

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
California's lesbian and gay couples have struggled and overcome the stigma of predatory stereotyping our party has wrongfully promulgated. They have built their families from love like everybody else. Our party shouldn't be standing in the way of their freedom to marry.

Please sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, and give the freedom to others that we all so desperately deserve.

Sincerely,

Letter to Senator Jack Scott - thank you and please talk to your colleagues

Senator Jack Scott
State Capitol
Room 2082
Sacramento, CA 94248-0001

Dear Senator Scott -

Like you, I’m a parent and a taxpayer in California, and I believe that all California couples deserve the freedom to be married.

The Senate is shortly going to consider AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. I know that you support this bill, but I’m writing to you as your constituent to thank you for your support and ask you to get your colleagues to support it as well.

The Governor has said that he will veto this bill. Because this issue is so important to me and my family, I have been writing a letter to him every day since July 12 to ask him to sign it instead.

I have enclosed a couple of my favorite letters, but they are all posted on my Web site, http://signab43.blogspot.com. Could you please talk to your colleagues about this and ask them to read some of my letters?

Freedom is an issue that spans party lines, and this bill will not only provide our same-sex couples the freedom to marry, it will also let the Churches that support them to perform the ceremony. The California Legislature and Jerry Brown changed the law to exclude lesbian and gay families in 1977; the legislature and Arnold Schwarzenegger can reverse it in 2007.

If you can think of anything I can do to help you advance this issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks,

Letter to First Lady Maria Shriver - help us get the freedom to marry

Dear Maria Shriver -

Like you, I am a busy Californian. I see no less than eleven worthy projects on your Web site. I was wondering if you could join me in just one more: bringing the freedom to marry to all Californians?

The California Legislature changed the law to exclude lesbian and gay families in 1977, and Governor Jerry Brown signed it. Since then these families have struggled against the stigma that law has put on them, and have overcoming with such milestones as the domestic partnership legislation that your husband brought into law.

Domestic Partnership doesn't provide the same security of marriage, though, which is why I believe that California would be better for kids and parents if these couples can get married just like everybody else.

Here is where you can help. I have written to your husband every day since July 12 to ask him to sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. This simple bill reverses the law that Jerry Brown signed without touching the Proposition 22 language, and it gives the many Churches that believe same-sex couples deserve marriage the freedom to perform the ceremony. Although I have written many times, I have only received two form letters in reply. I'm pretty sure that messages from me and people like me are not making their way to the Governor.

I have enclosed a couple of my favorite letters, but they are all posted on my Web site, http://signab43.blogspot.com. Could you please talk to your husband about this and ask him to read some of my letters as he considers his actions on AB 43?

Many thanks,

Monday, August 27, 2007

Today's letter - teasing my kids

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As the father of two six-month old children, I believe my partner and I should have the freedom to marry.

Our kids have two dads, and like all kids they will be teased about something. Letting same-sex couples get married just like everybody else means they will have one less thing to be teased about. They won't have any idea how much social stigma we had to overcome to bring them to school, because having two parents who are married is no big deal.

As a fellow parent (who happens to be governor), you can make it happen: please sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, and let me and my California Registered Domestic Partner get married, just like everybody else.

Many thanks,

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Today's letter - Thank you for being a friend

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Thank you for being so supportive of California's many lesbian and gay families, from signing our historic domestic partnership legislation to leaving $300,000 in this year's budget for LGBT victims of domestic violence.

I wish your support of our community would go just one step further, the final step to marriage equality. You have the authority to reverse Jerry Brown's 1977 change that banned gay marriage in California, without affecting the state rights proposition passed by voters in 2000. You have the opportunity to give freedom of religion and civil marriage protection to many thousands of families. You can continue to be a great friend to all of us who just want to be the best parents they can. Just sign AB 43 and support full and equal access to marriage for all Californians.

Your friend,

Friday, August 24, 2007

Today's letter - Eight Domestic Partnership Laws or One Marriage Bill

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

My California Registered Domestic Partner and I are raising our two kids here in Los Angeles. There are currently nine bills moving through the legislature that will make my family's life better. Five of them will make California a safer place for our children, and three of them are enhancements to California's Domestic Partnership laws that you have so wonderfully supported. But only one of them will provide us with the respect, dignity and freedom that all Californians should enjoy.

SB 105 would simplify my state taxes so we can file them as easily as straight couples. SB 559 would fix my property value that was reassessed when we moved it into our family trust. AB 102 lets us change our family name like couples do when they get married.

But AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, would make those three laws and many others unnecessary by simply ending the legislature-imposed ban on same-sex marriage.

I don't understand why your support for families like mine ends short of supporting marriage. California deserves to have one set of rules for everybody. Please sign AB 43 and end this parade of separate laws.

Hopefully,

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Today's letter - Congratulations on the Budget

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I was glad to hear that you have a budget on your desk so soon. While you were busy cutting programs - including your own - to balance it, I found $40 million: just sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

We will save $24 Million each year by closing access to means-tested public benefits. That means somebody who stays home with the kids won't be able to collect food stamps while their "legal domestic partner" makes a six-figure salary. (The study was co-authored by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law and IGLSS.)

As a taxpayer, I would also enjoy the $16 Billion windfall in tourism and commerce that Forbes predicts.

The legislature installed the ban on same-sex marriage in 1977, and the legislature can remove it now. It will not harm one person and bring dignity to so many. And it will help our economy. Isn't that what being a Republican is all about?

Yours,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Today's letter - First comes Love

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The rhyme goes:

First comes love (we met June 22, 1997)
Then comes marriage (we were married in San Francisco on Valentines Day 2004)
Then comes baby in the baby carriage (we had twins - a boy and a girl - in March)

We did everything right! But our marriage was annulled by the state and now we're reduced to groveling for our equivalent legal rights through the domestic partnership system.

Now won't you do what's right? California should have one word for marriage: "marriage." Please sign AB 43 and give us back our marriage.

Today's letter - gays can't marry but straights can domestic partner

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Did you know that in California, same-sex couples cannot be married, but opposite-sex couples can be domestic partners?

Apparently by Federal law, if you are being paid your dead spouse's Social Security and remarry, you lose your deceased partner's benefits. Our domestic partnership law has a carve-out for straight people over the age of 62 so they can keep their former spouse's social security benefits, yet enjoy survivorship, inheritance and hospital visitation with their new partner.

I think that stinks. I've been in a domestic partnership since 2000; I pay MORE than the same taxes, but I can't get my partner's Social Security at all. If I were in a heterosexual relationship, I would not only be able to get my husband's benefits, but also defraud the government in my next relationship.

California should have one word for marriage: "marriage." Please sign AB 43 and get rid of this nonsense.

Offended, but still yours,

Monday, August 20, 2007

Today's letter - back from recess

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger [Sacramento Office] -

With the legislature back, you must be busy. Your Health Care program and legendary budget restraint are making national news. How will you move our government forward without reckless spending?

Please consider signing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. It fixes a mistake our legislature and Governor Jerry Brown made in 1977 when they redefined marriage, it will save California money, and it's easy common ground: everybody believes in full equality for all Californians.

Who knows? It might get your other projects underway a little sooner.

Good luck,

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Today's letter - LA is losing your mail

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger [via Sacramento Office] -

I have written several letters asking you to sign AB 43, the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act." I don’t expect a reply to every letter I write, but the pattern I see is very disturbing.

When I send them to your Sacramento office, I receive a reply within a week.

When I send them to your Los Angeles office, I never receive any acknowledgment.

The Los Angeles office told me verbally that their operating procedure is to read and forward all letters to the appropriate individual in Sacramento so they can be treated expediently, but apparently something is broken. I haven’t received a single response since July 12 through the Spring Street route.

I would hope that these letters are being lost because of something procedural rather than something having to do with the content of the letters themselves. Either way, some reassurance that you are listening to your constituents would be welcome.

Sincerely,

Attachments: three "lost letters" from July 20, 25 & 26

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Today's letter - Let them wed

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

In the October 2006 issue of Esquire magazine, Brad Pitt said "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able."

Their kids - and ours - deserve to have parents who are legally married. Please sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act and let them wed!

Sincerely,

Letter to John Kanaley - Truth in Advertising and Opposition to Equality

Dear Mr. Kanaley:

I know that you have a lot to worry about with your election on Tuesday but you seem to have been quite critical of your opponents support of AB 43, the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act" without apparently understanding what the bill is about. It would be quite sad if voters elected somebody who opposed their freedom based on incomplete information.

I found this statement about AB 43 on your stump page http://www.lbreport.com/ads/37cong/kan2.htm where you said:

"This past June California Assembly members voted to legalize homosexual marriage, completely and arrogantly ignoring the will of California voters who, in March of 2000, passed Prop. 22 with 61.4% of the vote. That initiative called for the state to recognize marriage as only being between one man and one woman. 101 of 120 legislative districts voted for this initiative."
The truth is a little bit complicated, but so is being an effective legislator:

Proposition 22 did not call for the state to recognize marriage as only being between one man and one woman. Our Family Code already did that in Section 300, which was changed from "persons" to "man and woman" by the legislature in 1977 and signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Proposition 22 was designed and sold to prevent California from recognizing gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions. That's what the campaign was about, and that's what the voters passed. It enhanced section 308 which says we recognize marriages from other states and countries, to limit that recognition to heterosexual marriages.

As a Republican, you ought to support full marriage equality in fact and in name, since it not only reduces duplicative laws and entitlement programs, but also gets government out of restricting our freedom.

If you had read AB 43 you would know that it doesn't conflict with Proposition 22 one single bit. I think Californians deserve a candidate who reads laws before criticizing them at least as much as they deserve representatives who are not opposed to equality.

Sincerely,

Evolving Talking Points

  • Governor Schwarzenegger does not hate gay people. He knows many as an actor, from Merv Griffin to Rosie O'Donnell. He has signed almost every lesbian and gay rights law he has received. He signed our very effective Domestic Partnership legislation. His Chief of Staff is a Lesbian.
  • It is unknown why he stops short on legal marriage. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a nearly identical bill in 2005. The reasons he has given range from weak to dismissable (lacks authority to override Proposition 22, wants the people to decide).
  • The legislature changed the California Family Code section 300 from "two persons" to "man and woman" in 1977. The change was signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Schwarzenegger says he lacks the authority to sign AB 43, but it is the same authority as Jerry Brown had in 1977. The legislature changes their laws all the time. Governor Schwarzenegger might be sued, but better him than me.
  • The people passed Proposition 22 in 2000 adding a section to the part of the California Family Code that deals with marriages performed in other places. Section 308 says California has to honor marriages performed elsewhere, and the new section, 308.5, limits that to heterosexual marriages performed elsewhere. It is a state rights issue. AB 43 does not change 308 or 308.5. The courts will need to sort that out but in the meantime we will have gay marriage and the will of the legislature will be on record.
  • We need AB 43 for several strategic reasons:
    • if the Supreme court decides in October that Californians deserve gay marriage, we will still need AB 43 to provide it.
    • a pro-marriage law will drive the courts towards legal marriage.
    • a pro-marriage law will drive the people towards legal marriage.
    • an anti-gay ballot initiative becomes one that removes freedoms rather than one that just reinforces existing law (unnecessary, benign).
  • Churches that do not believe in same-sex marriage (or any other kind of marriage) will not have to perform any ceremony. More importantly, churches that DO believe in same-sex marriage will finally be able to perform them (United Church of Christ, Metropolitan Community Church.)
  • Same-sex marriages and registered partnerships (Domestic Partnerships, civil unions) are not the same. Although registered partnerships give same-sex couples most of the benefits and protections of civil marriage, the couples are not legally married. Registered partnerships create two sets of laws that are expensive to administer, and they deprive California citizens of their dignity. Nobody grows up dreaming of getting 'domestic partnered.'

More Canada Quotes

I got many more quotations that I could use in a letter. I think I probably already used too many. Here's my list:

I’m a Catholic and I’m praying. But I am the prime minister of Canada and...I’m acting as a person responsible for the nation. The problem of my religion — I deal with it in other circumstances.

— Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, August 13 2003

If people want to do something and it doesn’t hurt other people, doesn’t reduce other people’s rights, we should let them do it. Why not?

— Canadian Defense Minister John McCallum, August 13, 2003

My responsibility as Prime Minister, my duty to Canada and to Canadians, is to defend the Charter in its entirety. Not to pick and choose the rights that our laws shall protect and those that are to be ignored. Not to decree those who shall be equal and those who shall not.

- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

[S]ome have counseled the government to extend to Gays and Lesbians the right to civil union. This would give same-sex couples many of the rights of a wedded couple, but their relationships would not legally be considered marriage. In other words, they would be equal, but not quite as equal as the rest of Canadians. ...[S]eparate but equal is not equal.

- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

Less than equal is less than adequate. To create another institution [such as civil unions] just contributes to the fact that we would tell those members of the gay and lesbian community that they are not entirely part of our society. Why wouldn’t they be part of marriage?

— Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon August 13, 2003

If a prime minister and a national government are willing to take away the rights of one group, what is to say they will stop at that? How can we as a nation of minorities ever hope, ever believe, ever trust that [the constitution] will be there to protect us tomorrow?

- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

We won't be appealing the recent decision on the definition of marriage. Rather, we'll be proposing legislation that will protect the right of churches and religious organizations to sanctify marriage as they define it. At the same time, we will ensure that our legislation includes and legally recognizes the union of same-sex couples."

- Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, June 16, 2003

We embrace freedom and equality in theory, Mr. Speaker. We must also embrace them in fact.

- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

Many Canadians will want to accept both of these principles: protect the traditional definition of marriage and protect the rights of minorities. The essence of my message today is that we cannot do both. We cannot have it both ways. We must make a choice between traditional marriage and the protection of minority rights.

— Canadian Minister of National Revenue John McCallum, March 21, 2005

It is the responsibility of Parliament to ensure that minority rights are uniform across the country. The government cannot, and should not, pick and choose which rights they will defend and which rights they will ignore.

- Irwin Cotler, Canadian Justice Minister

In civil law, marriage is a contractual arrangement. We support the government’s desire and, we believe, obligation to maintain the equality of all people before the law. Property rights, inheritance issues, access to care and personal support, are a matter of justice, and must be available in a fair and equitable manner to all.

— Bishop Colin Johnson, Anglican Diocese of Toronto, Canada, December 9, 2004

It is incumbent upon us, as a minority, to stand up in solidarity with Canada’s gays and lesbians despite the fact that many in our community believe our religion does not condone homosexuality.”

— Rizwana Jafri, president, Muslim Canadian Congress, February 8, 2005


You have to look at history as an evolution of society.

- Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, June 18, 2003

Same-sex marriages are now a reality in Canada and I don't think there will be any turning back. Frankly, I would have been quite shocked if someone had tried to tell me [25 years ago] that this is where the logic of the equality provision [of the Charter of Rights] would lead. But lead here it did.

- Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, April 30, 2005

Friday, August 17, 2007

Today's letter - Lessons from Spain

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As you consider your position on AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you might like to hear from some people I consider to be real leaders who were in a situation very similar to yours.

Spain's path to marriage equality was much faster than Canada's. Their prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, advocated marriage parity and survived an election doing so, with 61% of Spaniards supporting full marriage. These are the words he used to do it:

I will never understand those who proclaim love as the foundation of life, while denying so radically protection, understanding and affection to our neighbors, our friends, our relatives, our colleagues. What kind of love is this that excludes those who experience their sexuality in a different way?
- May 11, 2005

It is time to bring to an end, once and for all, the intolerable discrimination still suffered by many Spaniards exclusively by virtue of their sexual preferences.

Homosexuals and transsexuals deserve the same public consideration as heterosexuals and have the right to live freely the life that they themselves have chosen.
- April 15, 2004


He is my new hero. You have some work to do. Please consider as a start signing AB 43 when it reaches your desk.

Yours,

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Today's letter - Jersey Polls and the California People

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

It looks like a veto of the 2007 Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (AB 43), would put you on the wrong side of the people too.

In a Zogby poll of New Jersey voters released yesterday, 63% said they would be fine with replacing civil unions with marriage, and 72% said there were more important reasons for keeping or replacing their lawmakers.

I don't know what the numbers are for California, but I can't imagine that the legislators who bring you AB 43 would have done it without checking the polls (unless they thought it was just the right thing to do. HA!)

I used to say sign AB 43 because it will lead the people toward equality, but it looks like the people are going there anyway. So please sign AB 43 to catch up!

Sincerely,

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Today's letter - Lessons from Canada

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As you consider your position on AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you might like to hear from some people I consider to be real leaders, in a situation very similar to yours.

Starting in 2003, Canada's most senior leaders steadily argued for "marriage" before adopting a Federal law in 2005. Their comments were critical for taking the people from being sharply divided on the issue to becoming overwhelming supporters for total marriage equality.

If people want to do something and it doesn't hurt other people, doesn't reduce other people's rights, we should let them do it. Why not?

- Canadian Defense Minister John McCallum, August 13, 2003

My responsibility as Prime Minister, my duty to Canada and to Canadians, is to defend the Charter in its entirety. Not to pick and choose the rights that our laws shall protect and those that are to be ignored. Not to decree those who shall be equal and those who shall not.

- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

I'm a Catholic and I'm praying. But I am the prime minister of Canada ...I'm acting as a person responsible for the nation. The problem of my religion - I deal with it in other circumstances.

- Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, August 13 2003

Many Canadians will want to accept both of these principles: protect the traditional definition of marriage and protect the rights of minorities…. We cannot have it both ways. We must make a choice between traditional marriage and the protection of minority rights.

- Canadian Minister of National Revenue John McCallum, March 21, 2005

[S]ome have counseled the government to extend to Gays and Lesbians the right to civil union. This would give same-sex couples many of the rights of a wedded couple, but their relationships would not legally be considered marriage. In other words, they would be equal, but not quite as equal as the rest of Canadians. ...[S]eparate but equal is not equal.

- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

Less than equal is less than adequate. To create another institution [such as civil unions] just contributes to the fact that we would tell those members of the gay and lesbian community that they are not entirely part of our society. Why wouldn't they be part of marriage?

- Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon, August 13, 2003

If a prime minister and a national government are willing to take away the rights of one group, what is to say they will stop at that? How can we as a nation of minorities ever hope, ever believe, ever trust that [the constitution] will be there to protect us tomorrow?

- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

We won't be appealing the recent decision on the definition of marriage. Rather, we'll be proposing legislation that will protect the right of churches and religious organizations to sanctify marriage as they define it. At the same time, we will ensure that our legislation includes and legally recognizes the union of same-sex couples."

- Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, June 16, 2003

We embrace freedom and equality in theory, Mr. Speaker. We must also embrace them in fact.

- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005


I hope you take these to heart and lead the people the right way. Please start by advocating AB 43 and showing, in fact, that you believe in equality.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Today's letter - Going to Disneyland

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today I'm going to Disneyland! Disneyland opened up their Fairy Tale Wedding packages on April 5 to people who are unable to secure a valid marriage license - like the citizens of California currently in Domestic Partnership relationships.

A Disney spokesman said "This is consistent with our policy of creating a welcoming, respectful and inclusive environment for all of our guests."

I wish California would follow Disney's lead, and like Massachusetts, Canada, Spain and South Africa, welcome our same-sex couples with the dignity of marriage. Please sign AB 43, the
Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, when it reaches your desk this Fall.

California Dreamin',

Monday, August 13, 2007

Today's letter - States' Rights

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

We passed Proposition 22 so we could make our own decisions about marriage.

It is time to exercise that right, and go where the Federal government won't: when you get AB 43 , please sign it so same-sex couples can have all of the privileges of marriage - in fact and in name.

Sincerely,

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Today's letter - Religious Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I'm writing today to ask you to consider Californian's religious freedom when AB 43, the 2007 "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act" reaches your desk.

Congregations like St. Monica's Catholic Church - where you go - should be able to exclude same-sex couples from the marriages they solemnize.

However, congregations like The Westwood Hills Congregational Church - right up the road - should also be able to exercise their beliefs and perform same-sex marriages.

California same-sex couples already have all the legal rights of marriage - why are you standing in the way of their religious right to marriage?

Yours,

Friday, August 10, 2007

Today's letter - Stop Democrats from Bloating Government

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I just watched the Democrats address the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community in their 'debate' on Logo. I was horrified to see them advocate strong hate crime, employment nondiscrimination and civil union laws as the solution to this community's situation.

I wish Republicans like you would enter this debate and present a solution that does not bloat government and reduce employer liberties: full access to marriage without gender restrictions.

You can start by signing AB 43. This law will advance freedom and liberty for California and set a model for the next President to follow - smaller government, lower taxes and full equality for all citizens.

Thank you in advance,

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Today's letter - Undefining Marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

From 1850 to 1977, California marriage law contained no reference to 'man' or 'woman.' AB 43, The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, simply would restore the common-sense language that was in our Family Code for 127 years: "Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons."

I don't know what made us redefine marriage in 1977, but government-imposed limits on personal freedom have no place in the 21st Century. Please sign AB 43 and get rid of this recent and arbitrary restriction.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Today's letter - Equality of Opportunity

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I was hoping as my closest Republican elected official that you could help me with something.

The Rules Of The Republican Party begins:

BE IT RESOLVED, That the Republican Party is the party of the open door. Ours is the party of liberty, the party of equality of opportunity for all and favoritism for none.

My California Registered Domestic Partner, two children and I feel a little left out of the party.

Could you please sign AB 43 not only to give our family liberty and equality of opportunity, but also to show that the Republican Party is indeed the party of the open door?

Sincerely,

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Today's letter - First state to eliminate racial restrictions should not be the last to eliminate gender restrictions

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

In 1948 California was the first state to remove its ban on interracial marriage. At the time, only one out of ten Americans supported the action.

Alabama was the last state with a ban on the books. They finally removed it in the year 2000, fifty-two years after us. The popular vote was only 60/40 in favor of removing it.

California has missed its opportunity to be the first state with permanent marriage equality, let's not make it the last. Please sign AB 43 and bring us marriage equality now.

Yours truly,

Monday, August 6, 2007

Today's letter - Dianne Feinstein

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today I wrote to Senator Feinstein about her vote on the Judicial Subcommittee that passed along Leslie Southwick to an “up-down” vote on the Senate Floor. There are a lot of similarities to your position on AB 43, the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act,” which you want to pass along to an up-down vote of the people.

I was angry with Senator Feinstein because she surrendered her committee’s power and wisdom to an unguided vote by the masses. It is a lot more risky and time-consuming to educate 100 people about Southwick than just nine specialists, thus easier to pass bad nominees.

The same has happened in California. The Opponents of Equality have tricked you into surrendering your power and wisdom to an unguided vote by the masses. That subverts the power that the people have given to their representatives, and undermines whatever wisdom they have accumulated.

I have tremendous respect for the will of the people, but bringing civil rights to an up-down vote has not historically favored minorities. Please use your power and wisdom to show the people how they should treat their fellow citizens. Please sign AB 43.


Sincerely,

Letter to Dianne Feinstein - Leslie Southwick

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

Dear Senator Feinstein:

I am writing to you about the nomination of Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit and your role on the Senate Judiciary Committee. As you know, you voted with the majority to send him on to the full floor for an “up-down” vote. I am gravely concerned that you have surrendered not only your committee’s power, but also its wisdom.

Committees were designed to pinch off the incompetent, hateful and biased so the floor doesn’t have to. It’s a lot more risky and time-consuming to educate 50 people about Southwick than 5 specialists, and we have to endure the hateful rhetoric through that long process. You failed to do your job, and now we pay the price.

Racism and homophobia should never come to an “up-down” vote, because the Opponents of Equality do not hesitate to lie and cheat. Example: they tricked you into surrendering your power with a dubious “resolution” calling for an “up-down” vote on all candidates – exactly the thing your committee was designed to avoid.

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,

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Today's letter - Act on your beliefs

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

In 2005, you said "I believe that lesbian and gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationships."

AB 43, the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act," would bring us one step closer to that laudable goal. Please sign AB 43 and put your beliefs into action.

Yours,

Friday, August 3, 2007

Today's letter - Proposition 22

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

You have stated that you would veto AB 43, the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act," because it conflicts with the part of the California Family Code that was installed by Proposition 22 in March of 2000.

I was surprised to discover that AB 43 does not conflict one bit. Section 300 of our Family Code says "Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman," while section 308 deals with marriages from other jurisdictions. Proposition 22 added Section 308.5 and was marketed and sold as defending California from marriages performed elsewhere, as evidenced by its redundant language and subordinate placement. Proposition 22 was never intended to stop civil gay marriage in California, or its makers would have changed Section 300 and the Constitution, not Section 308.5.

If you don't believe me, you can read the bill. AB 43 was written to specifically fix Section 300. It won't touch 308.5. If the courts decide this Fall that 308.5 is unconstitutional - as you desire - we need AB 43.

You are free by law - and obligated by the Constitution - to remove the ban on same-sex couples from marriage. Please sign AB 43 and say no to discrimination in this state.

Sincerely,

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Today's letter - the people HAVE decided

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

You have said over and over that you want the people to decide the fate of marriage in California. But the people HAVE decided.

They decided against discrimination when they enacted the constitution; they decided when they failed to amend the constitution with Proposition 22, and they decided when they elected and re-elected the legislature that brings you AB 43, the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act."

Now it is up to you to do your job and enforce the people's will: sign AB 43.

Thank you,

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Today's letter - no problem finding a priest

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Why is it that my fiancée and I have no problem finding a priest who will marry us and a church that will welcome us, but our government won't let us wed?

Please help end California's ban on gay marriage by signing AB 43 and supporting marriage equality.

Sincerely,

Recent Letters