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

Today's letter - here is what you could say

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As you approach the deadline for acting on legislation from this fiscal year, I thought I might help out by writing a message for you to use in relation to AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

I was careful to address your objections in the past as well as the ultimate issue of using mere laws – even voter initiatives - to override the Constitution.

My fellow Californians.

I said that I would veto AB 43 because I believe the courts and the people should decide the fate of marriage in this state. I also said that lesbian and gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationships. Up to now, I had seen these as being in contradiction to each other, but I have come to realize that it is not possible to treat these couples fairly while blocking them from marriage.

The people have made it clear through their elected representatives and the State Constitution that they do not tolerate discrimination in any form. Statutes passed by the legislature and even by voter initiatives are not able to create discrimination without changing the Constitution.

I also said that I would veto AB 43 because I lacked the authority to reverse an initiative approved by the people of California. I am not seeking that authority because I do not intend to reverse an initiative statute.

The initiative statute passed by the voters as Proposition 22 in 2000 enacted California Family Code Section 308.5 relating to marriages performed in other jurisdictions. It did not change the Constitution.

AB 43 changes Sections 300 and 302 of the California Family Code to say that a marriage is a contractual relationship between two persons. This is the original language of the Family Code prior to a legislative statute passed in 1977. It makes no changes to the implementation or enforcement of section 308.5.

AB 43 also provides for the free exercise of religion by institutions who believe in performing marriages of same-sex couples. Article I, section 4 of the California Constitution guarantees free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference, and as I explained earlier, Proposition 22 did not amend the Constitution.

Structures such as Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions, which I have supported in the past, are undermining marriage by providing a way for couples to cohabitate without making the commitment of marriage. Proposition 22 was passed to defend marriage as an institution, not to defend it against some kind of invader. We can not protect marriage by excluding people who want to support it, or by creating imaginary enemies to keep out. These tactics divide us and weaken our ability to face the real problem. The best way to follow the intent of Proposition 22 is to provide one set of laws governing relationships in this state and providing universal access to them.

The courts and the people will have their say. The issue regarding the constitutionality of section 308.5 and its prohibition against recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere is currently before the Court of Appeal in San Francisco and will likely be decided by the Supreme Court. Likewise, if the people want to exclude certain families from the security of marriage, they will need to pass a Constitutional amendment to do that. In the meantime, it is wrong to deny any citizen the freedom to marry, and just as wrong for me to block this bill.

I intend to uphold the Constitution of this state and the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives by signing this bill into law.


The tide is turning, Governor. Do you want to be on the side supporting love, or the side supporting hate? Please sign AB 43 and support the freedom to marry.

Sincerely,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today's letter - the tide is turning

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I'm just a simple guy, but even I can see that the tide is turning against the opponents of equality.

A Time magazine article published today contains interesting polling data: 90% of non-Christians call Christians too anti-homosexual but a shocking 80% of Christians think that they themselves are being too anti-homosexual.

In 2007, opponents of equality couldn't get enough support to stop marriages in Massachusetts, ban Domestic Partnerships in Oregon or even put a new (constitutionally-effective) version of "Proposition 22" on the ballot in California.

The legislature saw this coming two years ago when they sent the country's first pro-gay-marriage bill to your desk. Then, they got reelected and passed another bill to end the special exclusion of same-sex couples from the security of marriage.

It must say something that the last anti-gay law was seven years ago, while two pro-gay bills have come to your desk in the past two years. The tide is turning, Governor. Do you want to be on the side supporting love, or the side supporting hate? Please sign AB 43 and support the freedom to marry.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Today's letter - Don't Cross Abby

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As you might know by now, I love old-fashioned letters. And the queen of old fashioned letters has got to be Dear Abby.

The syndicated advice columnist told the Associated Press late last week "I believe if two people want to commit to each other, God bless 'em. That is the highest form of commitment, for heaven's sake."

Just last year she consoled a letter-writer whose brother refused to recognize his marriage, saying that "Accepting the status quo is not always the best thing to do.... Women were once considered chattel, and slavery was regarded as sanctioned in the Bible. However, western society grew to recognize that neither was just. Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain have recognized gay marriage, and one day, perhaps, our country will, too."

I wish you would bless us, by signing AB 43 and putting your support behind those who love - like dear Abby - instead of those who hate.

Yours truly,

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Today's letter - courts should not make decisions for me

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

One of the reasons that you are using in your haste to veto of AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, is that you want the courts to decide whether I can get married in California.

In my civics class, I was taught that the courts aren't supposed to make decisions - they are supposed to enforce them.

The people and the legislature have decided that same-sex couples need and deserve the freedom to marry. Please do your civic duty and implement this state's political will by signing AB 43 and supporting the freedom to marry.

Thank you,

Monday, October 8, 2007

Today's letter - be wary of mindless "defense of marriage"

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I know that you, as a public officer, ought to be immune from using the Bible to justify public policy, but there was something in yesterday's Gospel that reminded me why we should be particularly suspicious of those who claim "tradition" or "God's will" as the reason for doing something, in this case excluding same-sex couples from the security of marriage.

According to Mark (Mark 7:1-23), Jesus was criticized by the scribes and Pharisees for failing to perform a ritual hand washing. He uses the opportunity to teach "how well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!" We learn that it is not the ritual that God wants, but the following of God's commandment to love others as you love yourself.

I believe that when you annulled my marriage in 2004 and vetoed AB 849 in 2005, you were acting to “defend marriage” without thinking of the consequences to me and my family. I can’t imagine that you would like it if somebody annulled your marriage to Maria, but you did it to me.

As you consider the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, I wish you would use your mind to think about which tradition God would want you to defend: the tradition of hate or the tradition of love; then sign AB 43 and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Today's letter - sharing helps out when two worlds collide

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Yesterday, we went to Disneyland for the Tenth Annual Gay Days celebration. While I was hanging out with people who are going to be working really hard over the next few election cycles to keep those who veto their families out of public office, I wondered how people who disagree about things eventually get along.

Looking around, I saw a lot of people having a good time. Apparently, as long as one group doesn't specially reach out to interfere with another, things go great.

Whether it is a water fountain or a wedding, "sharing" is something we learned in kindergarten that still works in the real world. I wish you would "share" access to marriage by signing AB 43 and supporting the freedom to marry. It's the only way we can even agree to disagree.

Yours,

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Today's letter - to the newspapers!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I really believe that California would be better with same-sex marriage. I wonder how this might play out in the media...

Los Angeles Times
Letters to the Editor
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

October 5, 2007


Dear Editor -

I’m a father of twins, and I believe that what’s best for kids is an environment where churches and couples have the freedom to make their own decisions about marriage. That’s why I want the Governor to sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

This bill gets our government out of the business of interfering with marriage by pushing those very personal decisions down to the people themselves, but the Governor has said – with all seriousness – that he wants the courts to make these decisions instead, and that he will veto this philosophically important bill.

I may never understand why the Governor chooses to block committed couples from making the commitment of marriage, but failing to agree that all citizens deserve the same freedoms is an awful lesson to be teaching our children.


So what lesson are our children going to learn from you?

Sincerely,

Friday, October 5, 2007

Today's letter - successful "shack-ups" undermine all marriages

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I want to get married, but I’m running into more and more people who just want to "shack up" without making that commitment. I am starting to think that the decline of marriage might be inspired by the many same-sex couples who have been forced to build their families without the safety and security of marriage, yet have done so with such success.

Many of our friends ask me and my permanent boyfriend for marital advice, which we happily supply, but I actually felt a bit guilty last week when a friend of mine from high school told me that he and his girlfriend decided to merely live together because of how well my ten-year relationship works without marriage.

Even public couples such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie cite gay relationships as reasons for not getting married. It’s so popular that Senator Carol Migden introduced a bill that would give California couples the rights of marriage without the responsibilities. She calls it "Domestic Partnership."

If you believe that couples in a relationship should get married instead of "living in sin" then you should sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, and change the gold standard for successful relationships from "domestic partnerships" to marriages.


Sincerely,

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Today's letter - what's the real reason?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I want to ask you a question: why are you really planning to veto AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act?

  • It's obviously not from a hatred of gays, or you wouldn't have signed all the Domestic Partnership bills that we have labored to bring you.
  • It's probably not because you want bloated government, with two sets of laws covering relationships, making loopholes that cost taxpayers money, or you would not have fought against bloated government your whole political career.
  • It's clearly not because of 'the will of the people' because anybody with the brains God gave geese knows that the legislature would not have sent this to you if we had not convinced 'the people' to ask for it.
  • I hope it isn't because you think the courts should decide. Every citizen knows that the legislature is supposed to make the decisions, the courts are supposed to enforce them.
  • It probably isn't because of Proposition 22, a bill that did nothing to change marriage in California that was passed seven-years ago and will not be affected by AB 43, because you know that same-sex couples were actually excluded from marriage by Governor Jerry Brown in 1977.
  • It can't be because of religion: too many people of faith believe in the freedom to love over the freedom to judge, and you would never stand in the way of religious freedom.
  • It is likely not because you think that Domestic Partnership is enough, because anybody who has been married, as you have, knows the difference a wedding makes.

I imagine what happened is that Karl Rove sat you down and said you can break with the Party on healthcare and the environment, but if California gets gay marriage, it will make the party that said gays can't be good parents look like fools. Republicans will lose their big bigoted donors and their committed base won't turn out.

It's the only reason I can think of that you would be willing to veto against your conscience. I wish it wasn't true, because it means you're going to flush my freedom to marry the person I love down the toilet in a short-term and short-sighted play for votes, power and money.

Please - please - please - tell me the real reason that you are going to veto my family, because it can't be worse than the one that I have imagined.

Anxiously,

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Today's letter - nobody likes a bigot

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I am a former Scout Leader, and I think that you should sign AB 43 and support the freedom to marry.

Membership in the Boy Scouts has declined 35% since 1977, while the Girl Scouts lost just 3% of their membership in the same period. The big difference? The Boy Scouts squandered their money and legacy with expensive court fights to win the right to discriminate, then they used that 'right' to throw out members who have minority religious beliefs and sexual orientations. Nobody wants their kids to grow up in an environment that teaches hate, and they vote with their feet.

California - and the GOP - is in a similar situation. They are fighting for the right to discriminate and using that 'right' to exclude families like mine from marriage. This probably pads their pocketbook with fat donations from hard-line bigots, but in the long run, companies and individuals will relocate to places where their lesbian and gay neighbors and friends have the freedom to commit to marriage.

Please sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, like the legislature and people have asked you, and stop California from teaching neighbors to hate.

Yours,

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Today's letter - The Last Thing We Need

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

You have argued that AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, is unnecessary.

What was unnecessary was asking the Attorney General to invalidate my marriage in 2004; vetoing the first Freedom to Marry bill in 2005; vowing to veto AB 43 before the Senate had even voted it; and using a seven-year-old law about states rights as an excuse for allowing discrimination on your watch.

What is most unnecessary of all, though, is a ban that keeps people from getting married and churches from marrying them.

Please sign AB 43 and get rid of the unnecessary and offensive ban on freedom that the legislature installed in 1977 and that you have perpetuated throughout your rule.

A veto - and the divisive hatred that it emboldens - is the last thing we need.

Yours,

Monday, October 1, 2007

Today's letter - Elected to Lead, not to Read


Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As President Schwarzenegger in The Simpsons Movie, your character says "I was elected to lead, not to read."

You don't have to read to know that it is wrong to prevent couples who want to, from making the commitment of marriage.

Please lead us towards the freedom to marry by signing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

Thank you for reading and leading,

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