Thursday, January 31, 2008

Today's letter - endorse individual freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I read today that you finally endorsed John McCain for President in 2008. You said “McCain has a great vision to protect the environment and also protect the economy" and that strong investments in green technology can lead to a cleaner planet without sacrifices in quality of life.

Republicans say they believe in their core that individuals make the best decisions about what insurance they want to buy and how green they want to be, but you and Senator McCain both stop short of letting individuals decide who they can marry.

In 2004, Senator McCain was on the right path when he said "The constitutional amendment [banning gay marriage] strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans” because it would take individual decisions away from states and give them to the federal government.

Well, thanks to Republicans like John McCain, the power to block same-sex couples from marriage is in the hands of the states. Now, Governor, it is your turn to send that power down to the people themselves.

Republicans say they believe that individuals can make the best decisions about making their family healthy and strong. Under that mantra, the only people who should be deciding if they should get married are the people getting married.

Yours,

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Today's letter - Chancellor Schwarzenegger

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today was the 75th anniversary of the date Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Before his reign was over, more than 65,000 homosexuals were interred or murdered.

When you vetoed AB 43, the bill that would have stopped my family from being singled out for special exclusion from marriage, you claimed that California law left you no choice.

Martin Luther King said “Don’t ever forget that what Hitler did was legal.” I don’t want you to forget that what you did to me and my family by denying me the individual choice of marriage might have been legal, but it was not right.

Strong families and individual choice are the cornerstone of California’s economy and your political party. I just wish you would support my choice to form and keep a family through marriage.

Yours,

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today's letter - happy birthday to me

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today is my 40th birthday.

Depending on who is talking, I am either happily married with two kids and a loving spouse, or a 40-year-old bachelor living with my buddy and two bastard children.

Anybody who has taken the time to know me understands that I am anything but a “bachelor” and my kids are anything but “bastard.” My friends, family, co-workers and Democratic legislators know that I am in every sense “married with children”.

Why, Governor, do you and your fellow Republicans continue to bury your collective heads in the sand and pretend gay relationships don’t exist? I exist, I am gay, I am Amercian, I have earned the freedom to marry – yet it is blocked by you and you alone.

You can do something about this. Tell your party and the courts that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage. I don’t want to turn 50 and still be unmarried.

Yours,

Monday, January 28, 2008

Today's letter - I heart Huckabee for President

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As a conservative Christian gay Republican dad, I would love Mike Huckabee to be the Republican nominee for President. In fact, on Super Tuesday, he’s going to get my vote.

Everybody knows that he is unelectable, so his nomination is my best chance at getting somebody in the White House who respects my faith, my family and my individual freedom to make my own decisions about who I marry.

So, Governor, please support Mike Huckabee for President so we can get somebody with compassion, tolerance and talent into the White House.

Yours,

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Today's letter - an open letter asking for your help

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Equality California and the Let California Ring campaign are collecting signatures on an open letter asking you to address the California Supreme Court during oral arguments on the constitutionality of gay marriage this Spring.


As a defendant in the matter, and a proponent of “the dignity of every Californian,” you have an opportunity to speak directly to the judges about the expensive folly of excluding same-sex couples from participation in the economy and society.

If you were truly handcuffed into vetoing AB 43, a bill brought to you by the people through their elected representatives, now is your chance to make things right.

Strong families and individual choice are the cornerstone of California’s economy and your political party. I just want the government to support my choice to form and keep strong families through marriage.

Yours,

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Today's letter - the video made me cry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I’m still haunted by the images in the Let California Ring commercial “Garden Wedding.” In this thirty second ad, church bells ring as a bride prepares for her big day. The door sticks, cars block her path to the wedding pavilion, low-hanging branches foil her veil, then on her way down the aisle when she just makes eye contact with her groom, somebody sticks out their foot and she trips and falls. The message covers the screen: “what if you couldn’t marry the person you love?”

As a gay dad in a Domestic Partnership, I feel like this bride in a nightmare: so close to the altar, yet constantly foiled from marrying the person I love by things completely out of my control. Like when you chose to veto AB 43, the bill that would have let me marry the person that I love. That was really mean.

Strong families and individual choice are the cornerstone of California’s economy and your political party. I just want the government to support my choice to form and keep strong families through marriage.

Yours,

Friday, January 25, 2008

Today's letter - even more perfect unions

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Opponents of Equality say that gay couples are less perfect than straight couples, therefore they should be banned from marriage.

Another nail has been placed in the coffin of that argument: a new study published in the Journal of Developmental Psychology compares homosexual and heterosexual couples, and assesses their happiness.

Researchers from the University of Washington, the University of Vermont and San Diego State University concluded that gay couples -- with and without civil unions -- found their relationships more fulfilling than straight married couples. Same-sex couples without a legal framework such as a civil union or marriage, were more likely to end their relationships.

The researchers have done their part, proving that gay couples can benefit just as much from marriage as straight couples. Now it is your job, Governor, to make sure that gay couples are just as able to access those benefits.

Yours,

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Today's letter - more perfect

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Opponents of Equality say that gay couples are less perfect than straight couples, therefore they should be banned from marriage.

Another nail has been placed in the coffin of that argument: a new study published in the Journal of Developmental Psychology compares homosexual and heterosexual couples, and assesses their happiness.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that at all levels of commitment, the two types of couples had the same ability to resolve conflicts, the same level of satisfaction, the same kind of interaction with one another, and the same physiological response to each others’ presence.

The researchers have done their part, proving that gay couples are just as capable as straight couples at forming and maintaining happy relationships. Now it is your job, Governor, to make sure that the people see them as being just as worthy.

Yours,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Today's letter - Al Gore is keeping Current

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I know you don’t answer to Al Gore, but you did listen to him about the environment, and that has turned out pretty well for everybody. Would you at least listen to what he has to say about same-sex marriage?

Gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women -- to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in marriage, and I don't understand why it is considered by some people to be a threat to heterosexual marriage.

Shouldn't we be promoting that kind of faithfulness and loyalty to ones partner regardless of sexual orientation?


It is sad that it takes a Democrat to actually stand up for what so many Republicans say they believe: government ought not to intrude in the private lives of individuals where no state purpose is served.

Please, Governor, you don’t even need your own TV network. Just stand up in front of the California Supreme Court and tell them that all Californians deserve the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Today's letter - Times have Changed, Love has Not

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Actor Heath Ledger died today in his Manhattan apartment. He will always be remembered for his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain – a man married to a woman but in love with a man. Not “one night in Bangkok” Larry Craig kind of sex-on-the-side kind of love, but devoted, loyal Jane Austen kind of love. You cannot see that movie and think that Ennis and Jack were less than soul mates, and deserved anything less than a life together.

Back then, society didn’t accept anything but man-on-woman relationships, and used both violence and government to keep that power structure intact. Children born out of wedlock were shunned; women without husbands were shameful and powerless.

Nowadays, Mr. Ledger’s own child was born out of wedlock, and women without husbands are considered powerful and shrewd. Oprah Winfrey could never exist in 1963 Wyoming.

Governor, if “Love Is A Force Of Nature,” you are obliged to set it free. Please support the freedom for all committed couples to choose the commitment of marriage.

Yours,

Monday, January 21, 2008

Today's letter - Upholding the Constitution is not optional

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

When you vetoed AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you said that you couldn’t sign it because it would have been illegal and you would have gone to jail.

I believe you committed a more criminal act by failing to uphold the Constitution to which you swore allegiance. The Constitution, as you know, says that you are not supposed to pick out a whole group of people because of what they believe or how they were born, and force them to follow a different set of laws than everybody else.

You should have signed AB 43 because it was the right thing to do, and if you went to prison for following your Constitution obligation to protect Californians from discrimination for their religion, gender or sexual orientation, that too would be the right thing to do.

Martin Luther King Jr. explains:

“I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'”

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

It is too late for you to sign AB 43, but it is not too late for you to end your silence and protect the Constitution by saying everybody deserves the same freedom to marry.

Yours,

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Today's letter - even Presbyterians can see the folly of exclusion

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I have written to you before about the rift over homosexuals in the Episcopal Church, but now it seems as though the Presbyterians are headed towards similar turmoil.

Lisa Larges is a deacon in San Francisco who is seeking ordination as a minister in the Presbyterian Church. The constitution of the church limits its clergy, elders and deacons to people in man-woman marriages or who are sexually abstinent; but it also has a policy of allowing exceptions for conscientious objectors.

Larges has called the special ban on gay clergy a “mar upon the church and a stumbling block to its mission” with enough conviction that the regional body of 77 churches voted last week to allow her third application to proceed by 167 to 151, and she will be interviewed in April.

She says “The church is a beautiful, messy thing. It's about loving the church in spite of the church. It's about being part of a movement to call the church back to its best self.”

If the Presbyterians can make an exception to their special ban on same-sex marriage, can’t you?

To borrow Ms. Larges’ words, depriving just some people of the ability to participate fully in our economy and society is a mar upon the state and a stumbling block to its mission of ensuring life, liberty, property and happiness for all. Governor – it’s time to call your state and your party back to its best self and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Today's letter - something you can do for California's budget

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I’ve seen your ads all over the place urging voters to vote Yes on the Indian Gaming Propositions on the ballot. You say that will bring millions of tax revenue into the state at a badly needed time.

Should a new Proposition 22 initiative go on the ballot to constitutionally ban gay marriage, I want you to commit right now to doing ads to oppose it. A permanent ban on same-sex marriage would cost California $16 Billion in windfall and $16 Million in annual savings, and sadly alienate millions of Californians from the economy and society.

You could have spoken out against Proposition 22 but instead you silently perpetuated its evil. You could commit right now to fixing that wrong, by committing to support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Friday, January 18, 2008

Today's letter - your approach to same-sex marriage is wrong

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Yesterday you told the Los Angeles Times “I have learned a lot of things where I felt one way before I went into office, and all of a sudden you learn things are not quite this way and you change."

One position you have not changed is your approach to same-sex marriage.

In four years, you have never once spoken out against a system where some people – like me – who pay taxes just like everybody else, but can’t get married like everybody else.

Anybody with the brains God gave geese knows having a separate set of laws for straight couples and gay couples causes harm to every Californian, every day. It pushes people in committed relationships away from the commitment of marriage and into something less. Yet you continue to oppose the legislature’s efforts to correct this domestic apartheid with one proper law.

You say "I would rather flip-flop when I see something is a wrong idea than get stuck with it and stay with it and [keep making] the same mistake."

It’s time for you to flip-flop on your stand against the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Today's letter - The people are turning against the Opponents of Equality

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Thank you for signing SB 777 last year, an act that reorganized and reiterated basic Civil Rights for Students. You will be happy to know that the drive to repeal this legislation officially collapsed yesterday.

The advocates for a referendum this June claim they were only able to gather 350,000 unvalidated signatures and will no longer pursue the matter. They needed 430,000 valid signatures.

It is nice to see one more example of the people of California turning away from those who advocate prejudice and intolerance against their fellow citizens.

It is too late for you to sign AB 43, the bill that would have let me get married, but it’s not too late for you to turn away from the Opponents of Equality and support the Freedom to Marry.

Yours,

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Today's letter - who TO marry, not who CAN marry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

When you vetoed AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you said that the people should decide the future of gay marriage.

What you should have said is that the people should be able to decide who they want to marry for themselves.

You see, your version takes away the most intimate decision from people and puts it in the hands of the state, my version takes away that very personal decision from Sacramento and puts it in the hands of the people who would be actually getting married.

Please tell the people of California that you made a mistake – it is the power to decide who to marry, not the power to decide who can marry, that should be in the hands of the people.

Yours,

Today's letter - It is alright to change your mind for the good of all

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

All the news yesterday was your reversal of your position on term limits. Thank you for hearing both sides of that issue and making a stand for what you believe is right and expedient for all Californians.

Now, would you reconsider your position on same-sex marriage? With the obvious harm inherent in having two systems to accommodate partnerships, can’t you take a stand for what you know is right and expedient for all Californians?

Like term limits, it will indeed upset a few people, but for the good of all Californians, we all know that it’s the right thing to do.

Yours,

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Today's letter - Marriages are Mergers

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Scott McCartney writes of mergers in the airline industry that “analysts think multiple major marriages could lie ahead.”

Since Government regulates such mergers, are you going to withhold your blessing because the participants in these unions are not one man and one woman?

I know it sounds ridiculous to withhold a license because of an immutable characteristic of the participants – but as odd as that sounds, the fact remains that you are the last obstacle to my marriage, which you are blocking because of my gender.

Please, Governor, you don’t have to sign or veto anything – just tell the people that specially excluding some couples from marriage is un-American and unfair, and then get out of the way of my basic liberty.

Yours,

Monday, January 14, 2008

Today's letter - supporting evil is the same as doing evil

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As an example of how awful this battle over the freedom to marry has become, we fired our roofer today.

Well, we didn’t actually “fire” him, but here’s what happened. We had a leak in our roof. This guy from who was highly recommended came over to look at it, and later emailed us a quotation. His email led to his professional Web site, which listed “Victory Outreach Church of Eagle Rock” in his “community” section.

It took about ten seconds to discover that Valley Outreach is a notorious Texas-based Megachurch that not only operates reparation therapy facilities (where they beat the gay out of people) but also specifically endorses the Protect Marriage campaign to exterminate my family.

I did what anybody of conscience is obliged to do: I told this guy that I would retch if a fraction of a fraction of my money went to a place that has exchanged Jesus’ teachings for those of Pete Knight.

Our poor roofer guy was shocked and tried to defend his conscience by saying that he knows many gay people who are “his kindest friends.” I explained that if his ethics allows him to tell his kindest friends they are less worthy of marriage than Britney Spears, then he is not someone I want within a mile of my family, and chased him away.

Really, these are the people who can shoot an abortion doctor in the head without blinking an eye. They should be laughed out of any room they’re in. Yet they asked you to veto AB 43 and you complied.

I really wish you would put an end to this awful battle by telling the people of California that prejudice and hate is not acceptable. There is nothing wrong with gay marriage; there is everything wrong with denying it.

Yours,

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Today's letter - Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As an American, I was taught that the freedom to express ones beliefs is fundamental to our society. But I was also taught that expression brings responsibility, and abuse brings consequences. Abraham Lincoln summed this up when he said “Those who deny freedom deserve it not for themselves.” This weekend, we got a real-life demonstration of what happens when people believe in denying freedom to others.

Episcopal Bishop John-David Schofield of San believes that gay people should be banned from performing sermons, confirmations and rites. He recently led his diocese away from the national church on this issue, to ally with an Anglican church based in Buenos Aires.

The Episcopal Church responded by, appropriately, banning him from performing sermons, confirmations and rites.

I wish you would stand up for freedom, Governor, by identifying the Republicans who want to block lesbian and gay couples from marriage, and proclaim that their marriages are annulled. It would be no more arbitrary than annulling my marriage, which you did in 2004, and certainly teach a better lesson about commitment than banning committed relationships.

As Lincoln realized, the consequence of “doing unto others” is to be “done unto.” Won’t you see to it that justice is done?

Yours,


ATTACHMENT: Public Officials who have endorsed a ban on my marriage

Public Officials to be Banned from Marriage

State Senators
Senator Dick Ackerman (R-Tustin) – http://www.senate.ca.gov/Ackerman
Senator Sam Aanestad (R-Redding) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Aanestad
Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield ) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Ashburn
Senator James Battin, Jr. (R-La Quinta) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Battin
Senator John Campbell (R-Irvine) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Campbell
Senator Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Cox
Senator Jeff Denham (R-Merced) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Denham
Senator Bob Dutton (R-San Bernadino) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Dutton
Senator Dennis Hollingsworth (R- El Cajon) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Hollingsworth
Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Maldonado
Senator Bob Margett (R-Arcadia) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Margett
Senator Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/McClintock
Senator Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Morrow
Senator Charles Poochigian (R-Fresno) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Poochigian
Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) - http://www.senate.ca.gov/Runner
Senator Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Wyland

Assembly Members
Assemblyman Greg Aghzarian (R-Stockton) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Aghazarian
Assemblyman John Benoit (R-Palm Desert) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Benoit
Assemblyman Russ Bogh (R-Yucaipa) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Bogh
Assemblyman Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Cogdill
Assemblyman Chuck Devore (R-Irvine) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/DeVore
Assemblyman Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Emmerson
Assemblyman Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Harman
Assemblyman Guy Houston (R-San Ramon) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Houston
Assemblyman Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Huff
Assemblyman Rick Keene (R-Chico) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Keene
Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa (R-Biggs) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/LaMalfa
Assemblyman Jay LaSuer (R-LaMesa) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/LaSuer
Assemblyman Bill Maze (R-Visalia) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Maze
Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy (R-Monrovia) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Mountjoy
Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi (R-Lodi) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Nakanishi
Assemblyman Roger Niello (R-Sacramento) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Niello
Assemblyman George Plescia (R-San Diego) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Plescia
Assemblywoman Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Runner
Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Camarillo) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Strickland
Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Costa Mesa) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Tran
Assemblyman Michael Villines (R-Clovis) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Villines
Assemblywoman Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel) - http://www.assembly.ca.gov/Walters

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Today's letter - write a forward for my book?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As you may know, I have been writing a letter to you every day for the past six months, first to ask you to sign AB 43, then to ask you to just support the freedom to marry – my freedom to marry.

Spending an hour a day thinking about this topic and combining lessons from history, current events and personal experiences has given me a unique perspective into the issue of same-sex marriage, and how it is now more important than ever for all good Americans to take a stand for individual freedom.

As an important but generally passive participant in this, I would like to ask you if you would write an introduction to my forthcoming hardcover book chronicling my letters and my journey?

The book will likely be titled “Dear Governor Schwarzenegger – A gay dad asks for the freedom to marry”

and published in Hardcover and Softcover through Lulu Press. You will, of course, receive a copy along with my enduring thanks.

I can provide a manuscript for you upon request, or you can read the letters chronologically at http://signab43.blogspot.com, or have them read to you at http://youtube.com/signab43.

Yours,

Friday, January 11, 2008

Today's letter - Choosing to libertate or to obliberate

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As an American and as a parent, I believe government should not interfere with individual choices. My personal beliefs are echoed in the California Republican Party Platform, which says:

“As Republicans, we believe the home should remain the central place for individual decision-making, and issues impacting the family should not be handed over to intrusive government bureaucrats. … [P]arents are most capable of making decisions for and about their children … the CRP opposes any effort to weaken parents’ freedom of decision and choice.”


Imagine my surprise when I found a list of lawmakers – Republicans all – who have taken a different vow, by supporting the Protect Marriage campaign “in defense of marriage.” This heartless master says:

“We oppose granting to homosexuals special privileges, including marriage, domestic partnership benefits, and child custody or adoption.”


As a homosexual American and proud parent, let me be clear: such an initiative does not just merely subvert my individual decision-making, but sets out to deliberately destroy my family outright.

You know these people, Governor. They are your colleagues and friends. Yet they have compromised their party and their conscience to pursue a path which is reprehensible. I don’t want you to ask them to abandon their beliefs: I want you to ask them to choose which belief they really support: their belief that gay people should be excluded from our economy and society, or that all individuals should have the same freedom of personal choice, especially in who they marry.

Yours,



ATTACHMENT: lawmakers who endorse the “protect marriage” campaign

ProtectMarriage.com Coalition Endorsements

State Senators
Senator Dick Ackerman (R-Tustin) - www.senate.ca.gov/Ackerman
Senator Sam Aanestad (R-Redding) - www.senate.ca.gov/Aanestad
Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield ) - www.senate.ca.gov/Ashburn
Senator James Battin, Jr. (R-La Quinta) - www.senate.ca.gov/Battin
Senator John Campbell (R-Irvine) - www.senate.ca.gov/Campbell
Senator Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) - www.senate.ca.gov/Cox
Senator Jeff Denham (R-Merced) - www.senate.ca.gov/Denham
Senator Bob Dutton (R-San Bernadino) - www.senate.ca.gov/Dutton
Senator Dennis Hollingsworth (R- El Cajon) - www.senate.ca.gov/Hollingsworth
Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) - www.senate.ca.gov/Maldonado
Senator Bob Margett (R-Arcadia) - www.senate.ca.gov/Margett
Senator Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) - www.senate.ca.gov/McClintock
Senator Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside) - www.senate.ca.gov/Morrow
Senator Charles Poochigian (R-Fresno) - www.senate.ca.gov/Poochigian
Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) - www.senate.ca.gov/Runner
Senator Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Wyland

Assembly Members
Assemblyman Greg Aghzarian (R-Stockton) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Aghazarian
Assemblyman John Benoit (R-Palm Desert) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Benoit
Assemblyman Russ Bogh (R-Yucaipa) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Bogh
Assemblyman Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Cogdill
Assemblyman Chuck Devore (R-Irvine) - www.assembly.ca.gov/DeVore
Assemblyman Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Emmerson
Assemblyman Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Harman
Assemblyman Guy Houston (R-San Ramon) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Houston
Assemblyman Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Huff
Assemblyman Rick Keene (R-Chico) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Keene
Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa (R-Biggs) - www.assembly.ca.gov/LaMalfa
Assemblyman Jay LaSuer (R-LaMesa) - www.assembly.ca.gov/LaSuer
Assemblyman Bill Maze (R-Visalia) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Maze
Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy (R-Monrovia) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Mountjoy
Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi (R-Lodi) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Nakanishi
Assemblyman Roger Niello (R-Sacramento) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Niello
Assemblyman George Plescia (R-San Diego) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Plescia
Assemblywoman Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Runner
Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Camarillo) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Strickland
Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Costa Mesa) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Tran
Assemblyman Michael Villines (R-Clovis) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Villines
Assemblywoman Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel) - www.assembly.ca.gov/Walters

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Today's letter - State of the State

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

In your “State of the State” address last Tuesday, you asked legislators to work with you to tackle some of California’s most pressing challenges. While your list had many important items, I expected that your agenda would have been topped by the plight of over 100,000 Californians who are specially blocked from getting married. That’s 100,000 Californians who would like have the freedom to marry the person they love, but are specially excluded from participating our economy and society.

While we are still debating whether people have a right to health care or clean air, we are all in agreement that the people have a right to live free from discrimination based on their gender, religion or sexual orientation.

I wish you would assume leadership of this issue like you have on the budget, education, growth, health care and the environment, because of all of the great things you want to accomplish, there is nothing more important than ensuring that all Californians have the freedom to enjoy them.

Yours,

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Today's letter - an exception of mercy and compassion

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As Governor of California, could you make an exception to the law so that my fiancée and I can get married?

We are both outstanding citizens, we have lived together for ten years, and in California for more than eight. Our newborn children bear both our names. We are good, faithful, committed Christians. We would be readily able to provide you with testimonials from all four of our parents, the ministers at our Church and the Godparents of our children – anything you need to convince yourself that we are worthy and capable of marriage.

Just like you can pardon felons and intervene in death row cases – and just like you were able to veto the law that would have let us wed – you must also have the power to say “there is no state interest served by keeping these people apart.”

If you’re going to support a special exclusion from liberty for people based on their gender and your religion, you must also be able to let us wed. Won’t you do at least that, for the best of your people?

Yours,

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Today's letter - Stand up for tolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Author Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson is a black conservative leader who believes that immorality and the collapse of the family are the biggest problems in the black community. How does he want to fix the problem? By blocking gay marriages.

Reverend Peterson has been spending the past decade fighting against same-sex marriage and gay hate crimes bills. Such legislation, apparently, gives special rights to homosexuals and takes away the rights of Christians, and fighting against other Americans is way more important to him than actually fixing the problems in his community.

"I can absolutely guarantee you that if [gay hate crimes] should pass, then it's over for Christians," he states. "We will not be able to speak out against homosexuality."

Clearly, this guy is a whacko. His reasoning is faulty and his motivation is questionable. What puzzles me is why he is able to get your ear, Governor? Tell me - why are people like Reverend Peterson able to convince you and the Republican Assembly to deprive a group of people their liberty?

I wish you would stand up to bullies like Reverend Peterson, because while there ought to be room for belief in our society, there should be no allowance for intolerance.

Yours,

Monday, January 7, 2008

Today's letter - Fair taxation is hard work

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

When my same-sex domestic partner and I got Domestic Partnered, we had to reconstruct a sharing of our property like we would get automatically through marriage. We transferred our property into a joint trust, expecting Proposition 13 to keep our taxes frozen like it is supposed to do for families.

However, our county assessor saw things differently. Apparently because domestic partners are specially excluded from marriage, he believes they should also be specially excluded from the protections of Proposition 13. He quadrupled our property taxes.

I read today that this case has finally wound its way through the courts, and same-sex couples ARE protected by Proposition 13.

This is good news for us – we can start the paperwork today to get back some of the extra money we had to pay in taxes – but I really wish we didn’t have to take every little thing such as this to court when we could simply access the time-tested stability of marriage.

You could cut out a lot of waste in government and help families like mine reach our full potential if you would only support free choice in marriage. Please tell Californians that everybody deserves the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Today's letter - Are Americans entitled to discriminate?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I’ve been having an online debate with YouTube user “shifty567” about entitlement, exclusion and society, and we need your help to settle it.

Shifty567 says “Certain and defined expectations are necessary to help hold a society together. People define marriage as between a man and a [woman]. That is not an oppression of your rights, but a difference of opinion and definition. The problem is that you are using the idea of freedom to justify your desire for something that you think you are entitled to, but you are not entitled to redefine beliefs.”

I say “Families get married, businesses get married; there is no “man on woman” definition of marriage. I'm not blocked from marriage because of a "definition," but only because of my gender. Asking to be treated fairly is not entitlement, it is asking to be free from restrictions because of race, religion and gender. And I like to think Americans still believe in freedom.”

So which is it, Governor? Is my special exclusion from marriage necessary to hold society together, or is my exclusion from marriage an aberration in the American principle of “all men are created equal?”

My future rests with your opinion on this matter.

Yours,

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Today's letter - How can I change the GOP Party Platform?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I am a registered Republican who is trying to be the best husband and father that I can. There is a paragraph in the 2004 California GOP Party Platform that seems to meddle with my natural rights – specifically standing in the way of my life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness. The paragraph starts out with a falsehood and continues with an assumption that, if truly embraced, would legislate my family out of existence. I don’t know how this got inserted into a policy document, but it needs to go.

From Page 6 of the California Republican Party Platform:

Recognizing the traditional model of monogamous heterosexual marriage as the only stable relationship upon which to build a society, we believe that homosexuality should not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in public education and policy. We oppose granting to homosexuals special privileges, including marriage, domestic partnership benefits, and child custody or adoption.

What can I do, as a citizen, to make sure this is removed from the 2008 California GOP Party Platform? Do I need to go to some meeting, lobby some party chairman, or make a really big donation?

I want my kids to grow up in a world where Government is not an obstacle to freedom, but a vehicle for it. I’m willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure that.

Yours,

Friday, January 4, 2008

Today's letter - Governor Dreyfus' legacy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I wanted to write to you to note the passing of former Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus who died Wednesday at his home near Milwaukee at the age of 81.

Wisconsin’s 40th governor and a devout Republican, he is most famous for signing the first statewide gay rights law in the United States back in 1982, making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

At the time he signed the law, Dreyfus declared, "It is a fundamental tenet of the Republican Party that government ought not to intrude in the private lives of individuals where no state purpose is served, and there is nothing more private or intimate than who you live with and who you love."

Governor Schwarzenegger, I wish more of our governors would show just half of Governor Dreyfus’ wisdom and support free choice in marriage.

Yours,

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Today's letter - you cannot lead people when you hate them

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I am not impressed when evangelicals like Ted Haggard, Paul Barnes, Mike Huckabee, John Paulk, Trent Lott, Larry Craig and Richard Roberts throw stones at my family and then destroy their own. It is par for the course. I just wish they didn’t use their three million followers and shady political connections to amplify their own “rightneous” while specially excluding me and my fiancée from freely participating in the economy and society.

I am not arguing that Mike Huckabee is secretly homosexual; what I am saying is that the history of evangelical ministers – especially gay-bashing Republican ones - demonstrates that the higher they are, the further they fall. By that measure, Mike Huckabee is in orbit.

So let’s play a game. Try to match the quotations on the left with the person making it on the right:


1) "It's not because I don't like [gay people.] It's because I like even more the idea that the heart and soul, the essence of our civilization is in the family [without gays].”

2) "We don't have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It's written in the Bible."

3) “So there is a sense in which, you know, it’s one thing to say if people want to live a different way, that’s their business. But when you want to redefine what family means or what marriage means, then that’s an issue that should require some serious and significant debate in the public square.”

4) "It is [a sin]....You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like alcohol...or sex addiction...or kleptomaniacs."

5) "We need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague."

A) Mike Huckabee, Baptist minister and Republican candidate for President.

B) Ted Haggard who was having drug-fueled homosexual trysts instead of good man-on-woman sex with his wife:

C) Paul Barnes, founder and former senior minister of Grace Chapel, who resigned when his gay dalliances were revealed;

D) Trent Lott, Senator from Mississippi who suddenly ended his 35-year career in congress under “curious” circumstances.

E) Larry Craig, Senator for Idaho, who admitted to soliciting sex in an airport bathroom.

F) John Paulk, former chairman of the board for Exodus International North America (a group that beats the gay out of people)



The answers are 1-A, 2-B, 3-A, 4-D, 5-A. But it doesn’t matter, because anybody who believes that the key to fixing families in this country is by specially excluding gays from marriage is unfit for office, either by demonstrated irrationality or by hidden proclivities. You cannot lead people when you hate them.

Yours,

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Today's letter - What it means to live free

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

New Hampshire’s motto is “live free or die” and they demonstrated that, partially, by introducing civil unions for gay couples yesterday.

No, it’s not real marriage like their neighbor Massachusetts has had since 2004, but it is a big reversal for a state that banned gay couples from marriage just three years ago.

So hurray for states like New Hampshire that recognize that living free requires the freedom to choose your own relationships: there is hope for them – and for us – that freedom will not forever stop short of the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Today's letter - Trout get more respect

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Happy New Year!

I was just reading through all the new laws going into effect this year and noticed such things as:

Tanning booths: To address concern about skin cancer, changes the parental consent law for minors, ages 14 to 18, who patronize businesses using ultraviolet tanning devices so that such consent must be provided in person.
Trout protection: Declares state policy to discourage the release of hatchery-raised hybrid and nonnative fish species in waters set aside by the government for wild trout.
Witness protection: Gives the state attorney general authority to coordinate with and reimburse local agencies that provide protection to those testifying against gang members.
If we can have laws protecting teens, criminals and fish, why can’t we have a law protecting my belief that I should be able to marry the person that I love?

Sometimes I think you have more respect for trout than you have for gay people.

Yours,

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