Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today's letter - Sign SB 572 to Stop Teen Suicides

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As a gay dad in California I have a vested interest in SB 572 Harvey Milk Day.

Since you vetoed it last year, four important things have changed. And it’s a mixed bag, but bear with me.

  • The California Supreme Court observed that homosexuals are a protected class in California, no different from every other group that has been systematically oppressed. And a narrow majority of voters have alleged otherwise.
  • Harvey Milk was the subject of an Academy Award winning movie.
  • Harvey Milk was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • About 2,520 California teens have killed themselves because they are gay.

This last point is why SB 572 is so important. Only Harvey Milk Day will ensure that our children are taught the important lesson of hope that they need to survive.

I know that you and your wife Maria are inducting this Time Magazine 100 Heroes and Icons of the 20th Century into the California Museum; I also know that opposition to Harvey Milk Day comes from the oppressors we still have lingering around, literally killing our kids.

We don’t need somebody stuffed into a museum, we need a living lesson of hope and a clear message that the acts that killed Matthew Shepherd, Trevor and Harvey Milk are not tolerated in California. I hope you do the right thing for our children and SIGN SB 572.

Sincerely,

Monday, June 15, 2009

Today's letter - healthcare reform needs our support, but I'm not that generous

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

During the election, then-candidate Barack Obama said about the gays, “it is wrong to hold up a line from Leviticus [condemning gays] while forgetting the whole point of the Sermon on the Mount [where Jesus teaches you to treat your neighbor as you treat yourself.]”

Then on Friday, the Administration released a memo defending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on the grounds that homosexuality is, among other falsehoods, equivalent to incest.

Well, I am not willing to forget the Sermon on the Mount either. If President Obama wants me to respect him, he needs to respect me. The minion in the DOJ who put out this release needs to loose ALL of her Federal benefits along with her job. The dodo in the White House Press Office who defended the memo needs to loose ALL of his Federal benefits along with his job. And Michelle needs to make Barack sleep on the couch until he demands congress provide comprehensive and indistinguishable equality in employment, taxation, social security and immigration to every American citizen.

I would love to contribute to the Democrats’ health care reform plan – but all my spare change is going to fix the lies Mr. Obama is spreading.

Sincerely,

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Today's letter - let's address the actual issues in the 2010 race for California Governor

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The race for Governor is heating up. I wish one side or the other could be trusted to actually end the gridlock in Sacramento, but that hasn’t happened.

I presume that you want a Republican to win. But with the way that the Democrats are positioning themselves, it looks like it might come down to an equality-vs-apartheid competition just like Proposition 8, and I predict that will open the door for a pro-marriage Governor to take your place.

Governor, as we learned from the 1983 film “War Games,” the only way to win this game is not to play it. The only way to disarm the Democrats on the issue of same-sex marriage is to agree that Prop 8 was a bad idea and work towards marriage equality in this state and country as fast as we can.

I hope you choose to join this fight rather than just watch it play out.

Sincerely,

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Today's letter - if we are going to give "marriage" to the churches, we should at least charge a billiion dollars for it

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

There are some who are calling for the end of marriage in California. Let the churches decide who can marry, they say, and have the state call all registered partnership commitments “Civil Unions.”

I think this is a dumb idea. While it addresses the short-term problem Proposition 8 introduced – a class of citizens who cannot get married and group of churches that cannot perform the act their faith demands – getting rid of “marriage” would recklessly surrender the word “marriage” to the church.

If we are going to give the word to the churches, we should at least get something for it. A billion dollars would go a long way towards balancing the budget.

Sincerely,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Today's letter - I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is more insightful than Jesus

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Last night on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Heidi and Spencer Pratt talked a lot about their relationship with Jesus and the importance of being Christian. Heidi talked about her dream of becoming a missionary while showing that she didn’t have the skills to survive a couple of days in a relatively posh jungle. Spencer talked about trying to channel Jesus with all his heart mind body and spirit, while verbally and physically assaulting his campmates.

Daniel Baldwin had a Celebrity Monologue and called this “Convenient Christianity:”

“It’s real convenient to tell people how Christian you are, and yell out ‘Praise God’ and ‘God Bless’ ... and then climb up poles and knock water bottles out of their hands and tell them that you’re going to kill them. Where is the Christianity in that?”

I know exactly what he is talking about. I get hate mail that makes me want to wash my eyes out with holy water. So-called Christians running around shooting doctors and bashing homosexuals, preaching love and tolerance for their neighbor, but acting quite differently.

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

Regardless of what people say, God knows what people do in the voting booths.

Please, Governor, help Californians realize that what they did with Prop 8 was wrong. Instead of just talking about doing the right thing, I wish you would actually reach out and join the fight for marriage equality.

Sincerely,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Today's letter - an invitation to speak on the anniversary of California's first legal same-sex marriages

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

On Tuesday, we will be celebrating the anniversary of the first legal same-sex marriages in California. I will be speaking at a press conference along with my father and my children.

I will be speaking about my faith and marriage, while my father will be speaking about how his dream of becoming a grandparent came true.

I hope you can come out. You could talk about how the freedom to marry would help the California economy, or how you regret vetoing AB 43, the bill that would have made this happen much sooner, or how your vision of government is disturbed when the state makes decisions that belong to individuals.

If you need a ride, just give me a call. I’ll be glad to pick you up.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today's letter - when Athiests can marry but I can't, it proves neither Mormons nor Papists own the word "marriage"

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

In California we seem to be stuck in a world with marriages for some couples and civil unions for others. This seems to be an accommodation to religious groups who somehow feel entitled to own the word “marriage” and define it for themselves.

But religion does not own the word marriage. When two atheists of opposite genders get married, by a judge in a courthouse, it is still legally called a marriage, not a civil union. The word “marriage” Is owned by the state, and as a citizen I demand to be able to use it.

Once Californians admit that everybody deserves the same rights regardless of their gender, religion and sexual orientation, the segregation between marriage and domestic partnerships becomes instantly absurd. California crossed that line in 1999.

Those who support a system that surrenders the word “marriage” to the Mormons and the Papists are as reprehensible as the apartheid they support.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature. I wish you would speak out against those who are stealing state property and using it for their own religious agenda. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele so Republicans can once again represent America’s promise of freedom and dignity, instead of some warped version of theocracy.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Today's letter - Traditional Marriage for Everybody

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

A new campaign: “traditional marriage for everybody.” What else would be fair?

Sincerely,

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today's letter - research proves same-sex marriage reduces HIV/AIDS, while intolerance causes it

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Hugo Mialon and Andrew Francis, Two researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, used thirty years of data to tie rates of HIV/AIDS infection to attitudes of tolerance towards lesbian and gay Americans.

They found that “a rise in tolerance from the 1970s to the 1990s reduced HIV/AIDS cases by one per 100,000 people, and that laws against same-sex marriage boosted cases by 4 per 100,000.”

"Intolerance is deadly," they concluded. "Bans on gay marriage [cause] more gay people to shift to sexual behaviors that carry more risk."

If you were truly interested in reducing the number of HIV/AIDS cases, you would support traditional marriage for everybody, gay and straight. I wish you would help educate Californians about the facts surrounding marriage. Hate is taught, but so is fairness, compassion and freedom.

Sincerely,

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Today's letter - Dick Cheny is right about freedom, but wrong about having the states meter it out

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Your Republican friend Dick Cheney said during an appearance at the National Press Club that "people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."

He also said he does not support federal action allowing gay marriages. "Historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level," Cheney said. "It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis."

Governor, I wish you would take Mr. Cheney’s comments one step further to their obvious conclusion: marriage should not be regulated on the federal level, OR on the state level. It should be at the individual level.

The only people who should be able to decide if they should get married are the people who are involved. Individual choices of adults are not the business of the government, whether it is federal, state or local.

Anything less than that equal freedom for everybody is a violation of what it means to be American, Christian and Republican.

Sincerely,

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Today's letter - it's gay pride month again

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

It’s old news now, but June is once again Gay Pride month by proclamation of the President of the United States.

I’m tired of having the civil liberties and human dignity of my fellow Americans ebb and flow with the different political parties that happen to be in office at any particular time. I’m tired of having to wait for old Republicans to die off so human rights legislation can advance. I’m tired of being limited to just one political party because the other political party engages in morally reprehensible attacks on its fellow citizens.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature, like New Hampshire just did. I wish you would speak out against Opponents of Equality and their agenda of apartheid against the citizens of our state. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh so Republicans can once again represent America’s promise of freedom and dignity, instead of some warped version of theocracy.

Sincerely,

Friday, June 5, 2009

Today's letter - same-sex marriage is the only proven way to get more people to marry and fewer people to divorce

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Let’s protect marriage together.

Denmark legalized same-sex marriage in 1989. In ten years the marriage rate increased 10.7% and the divorce rate dropped 14%. In Norway, marriage up 12.8% and divorce went down 6%. In Sweden, marriage went up an astonishing 28.7% while divorce dropped 14%.



marriage statistics over ten years
since legalization of same-sex marriage
DenmarkNorwaySweden
Ten-year change in marriage rateup 10.7%up 12.8%up 28.7%
Ten-year change in divorce ratedown 14%down 6%down 14%


Anybody who says that same-sex marriage threatens heterosexual marriages is lying.

I wish you would help educate Californians about the facts surrounding marriage. Hate is taught, but so is fairness, compassion and freedom.

Sincerely,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Today's letter - Dr. James Dobson is a liar, and sends hate mail to California addresses

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Dr. James Dobson’s latest campaign is titled “Dr. James Dobson offers encouragement to parents of teens.”

This is a lie.

Dr. James Dobson offers only a promise to parents that their children will be brutalized to suicide if they are perceived to be gay, and to gay parents that both they and their children are “deviant” and the cause of every American woe, from Hurricane Katrina to 9/11.

Dr. Dobson claims that heterosexual marriage rates have dropped in countries that allow same-sex couples to marry, and this is destroying civilization. In fact, Denmark’s marriage rate has increased 10.7% ten years after same-sex marriage became legal, 12.7% in Norway, 28.7% in Sweden. Over the same time, divorce dropped 14% in Denmark, 6% in Norway and 14% in Sweden. Dr. Dobson is a liar.

Dr. Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” ministry lies, and spreads those lies with hate mail that comes into my mailbox. If Focus on the Family were a company, they would be held accountable for the suicides they cause and the families that they destroy. If Focus on the Family were a company, they would be punished by our Attorney General for openly lying about the product they are selling.

Today’s mailing was selling magazines for teenagers that spread Dr. Dobson’s lies and hate. The harm they cause is undeniable. Hate is taught, and Dr. Dobson is teaching it.

Governor, I wish you would ask your Attorney General to investigate this organization and see if there is a way to get them to stop sending deceptive advertising to California’s mailboxes.

Thank you,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Today's letter - what if we had to register our religion?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

If we had a government registry for religion, what would it look like?

It would obviously require people to be a certain age, and only register once. Would it require a race, a gender, or a certain belief? Obviously not. Would it only have a few checkboxes? That would be silly. Not even our voter registration forms restrict choice or demand a specific affiliation.

The state does run a registry for marriage. Would you lease explain why same-sex domestic partners are prevented from participating in that registry?

Sincerely,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Today's letter - our deity of choice

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Americans often celebrate their freedoms.

Why do we have the freedom to choose our deity, but not the freedom to choose our spouse?

Sincerely,

Monday, June 1, 2009

Today's letter - Pentecost is the celebration of one great church, and any real church welcomes all people

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Yesterday was Pentecost, the fiftieth and last day of Easter in our church. It celebrates the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles (one or more of whom was statistically likely to be gay.) “The people were amazed because each Apostle spoke in the native language of each of them.” Thus formed the “one church” doctrine summed up in Galatians 3:1 "...there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Those who say that gay people are less worthy of marriage than straight people because of something in their Bible are committing the holy sin of dividing God’s family, as well as the most heinous of secular sins, using their own faith to deny freedom to others.

When these people come to you, Governor, asking you to support their agenda of bigotry and hatred, you are not obliged to treat them with the dignity or respect of a meeting, because they have deliberately and relentlessly denied those things to their neighbors.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature. I wish you would speak out against those Opponents of Equality and their agenda of apartheid. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele so Republicans can be electable again.

Sincerely,

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today's letter - outing people isn't nice, yet our government does it all the time

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

A new documentary about closeted gay politicians put the issue of "outing" on the front burner. The LA Times’ James Rainey accelerated this by talking about his 1993 outing of City Council Candidate Jackie Goldberg against the desire of her then-partner and then 8-year-old son.

Journalists generally follow a protocol of not revealing somebody’s sexual orientation without their explicit permission, since outing somebody is just too potentially damaging to them and their families.

It is nice that journalists respect this privacy, but why doesn’t our government? As long as we have two – or three – different legal statuses describing relationships in this state, it is impossible for me to be “in the closet.” My car license outs me. Filing taxes outs me. My kids’ vaccination forms out me. As long as our State forms use the terms “married” and “domestic partner” – or “husband/wife” as on EDD forms DE1 (Registration Form for Commercial Employers) and DE1-HW (Registration Form for Employers of Household Workers) STILL do – I am automatically outed whenever I fill out a government form.

The only solution is to have one set of laws describing relationships in this state. I don’t care if it is “married” or “domestic partners” but a house divided cannot stand.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature. I wish you would stand with fair-minded Californians against the government meddling in personal decisions. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele so Republicans can be electable again.

Sincerely,

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Today's letter - the only fair and legal thing to do is to stop all marriages, and do to yourself what you would do to others

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

What should we do in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8?

You may recall that this amendment to our Constitution says that same-sex couples cannot get married in California. It does not say heterosexual couples cannot get domestic partnered in California.

The Constitution says that all people must be subject to the same laws. I think there is only one fair way to handle this: stop all marriages in California. Existing marriages will be converted to Domestic Partnerships for same-sex and opposite couples alike.

Then instead of having three laws for people, we will only have one. Government will be smaller and save money. Michael Steele will not have to worry about small businesses spending money on benefits to married people. Randy Thomasson would not have to worry about churches performing marriages.

If you really believed in equality and freedom, you would stop inequality and apartheid.

Sincerely,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Today's letter - regrets from another victim of the battle over gay marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

After Tuesday’s press conference I had a coffee with one of the national reporters who covered the event, off camera and off record.

Covering this has been challenging for him because he has seen how hurtful Prop 8 is, and how thoughtless the Opponents of Equality are. While he is trained to be fair and balanced, he has started to see the denial of freedom as a media stunt, rather than the truth.

Basically, I met somebody who regrets spreading the lies and selfish policies of the Opponents of Equality, another victim of the war against the gays.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature. I wish you would apologize for letting Gavin Newsome and Antonio Villaraigosa stand alone at rally after rally opposing Prop 8. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh so Republicans can be electable again.

I wish you were on the side of Faith, Family and Freedom, instead of quietly waiting out your term.

Sincerely,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today's letter - instead of one law, now we have three

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision about the validity of Proposition 8 made my blood boil. Instead of having just one set of laws governing Californians, we now have three: one for heterosexual marriage, another for gay marriages performed during the Fall of 2008, and a third for Domestic Partnerships.

I hate Prop 8 and you should too – because it makes Government bigger and more intrusive into our daily lives, at great expense when we can ill afford it.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature. I wish you would apologize for letting Gavin Newsome and Antonio Villaraigosa stand alone at rally after rally opposing Prop 8. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh so Republicans can be electable again.

I wish you were on the side of Faith, Family and Freedom, instead of quietly waiting out your term.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today's letter - everybody was there to oppose prop 8, except you

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

My husband, kids and I went to the Repeal Prop 8 rally in West Hollywood last night. The entire West Hollywood City Government was there, the pastor from my Church gave a rousing invocation, Drew Barrymore and George Takei spoke from their hearts, Daniel Choi challenged the military by saying “I am gay” and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa promised in English and Spanish that Los Angeles would be fighting along with us to get rid of this bad proposition.

Why weren’t you there?

Sincerely,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today's letter - the call for gay marriage comes from a place of faith, family and freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

This morning I attended the Prop 8 news conference down here in Los Angeles.

It was held in a part of town I had never been in before, Leimert Park, a predominantly African-American neighborhood just blocks from the Crenshaw Christian Center where Pastor Fred Price Jr. held all of his “yes on 8” rallies.

Our press conference opened with a blessing by two ministers and a rabbi. They spoke so long that they were at the podium to made the announcement that the Supreme Court had upheld Proposition 8, and that a slim majority of voters was all that was necessary to take away their religious freedom to perform marriages.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature. I wish you would apologize for letting Gavin Newsome and Antonio Villaraigosa stand alone at rally after rally opposing Prop 8. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh so Republicans can be electable again.

In short, I wish you were on the side of Faith, Family and Freedom, instead of quietly waiting out your term.

Sincerely,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Today's letter - long lines on Memorial Day

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Happy Memorial Day, Governor. I hope you get a chance to go to the park with your family.

It’s funny – we go to the same schools and parks as our neighbors, we vote in the same elections, we go to the same churches, and at the ball games, we stand in the same lines for hot dogs. Yet when it is time to get married, same-sex couples have to stand in one line, while opposite couples have to stand in a different line.

That doesn’t seem very American to me.

Sincerely,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Today's letter - after 130 years, will it blend?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court will rule on the validity of Proposition 8.

In 130 years, our Constitution was thought of as something that gives everybody access to a level playing field. Proposition 8 tests that assumption, and I am very scared that we will see a crack in our foundation.

If the Constitution can be used as a weapon against a few at the whim of the many, instead of protecting every one of us, it protects no one.

Sincerely,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Today's letter - what causes a change of heart over same-sex marriage? Civil Unions!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The New York State Assembly voted on a same-sex marriage bill in 2007 and again in 2009. There were five Members who voted no in 2007 but yes in 2009. What motivated these five people to change their vote?

Their stories seem to fall into two camps. Sandy Galef, a Democrat from Westchester, Tim Gordon, an Independence member from Albany, and Fred Thiele, a Republican from Suffolk County, all changed their votes because of their concerns about civil unions. Assemblymember Thiele said “I thought equal rights could be guaranteed through civil unions... only to find that discrimination persisted in health care and other areas. The only way to ensure equality is by giving all couples access [to marriage.]”

The other two Members, Bob Reilly, a Democrat from Albany/Saratoga and Janet Duprey, a Republican from the Northeast, claim their change of vote sprang from personal conversations they had with constituents. They learned that gay men and women are no different than heterosexual men and women, and want the same things for themselves and their children. Assemblymember Duprey concluded that "United States was founded on the principle of equal protection and rights for all, and I will cast my vote for the constitutional rights of same-sex couples."

It is frustrating to have to wait for Californians to realize what these New York lawmakers have: that denying gay marriage is un-American and un-Christian. I wish you would be more vocal, Governor, about what made you change your mind, and bring some more of the people along with you.

Sincerely,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today's letter - Miss California's lesson about sex outside of marriage comes from her own mom, Mr. Terminator Salvation

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Carrie Prejean, Miss California and NOMBLA spokesperson, is once again in the news today. You may recall that Miss Prejean lost the Miss USA crown after she preached “in my country, in my family, I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.” Well it turns out that, according to ABC News, her mom was dating a woman as recently as two weeks before the Pageant.

I guess in her country, in her family, she believes that gay sex is OK, as long as it isn’t marriage. I don’t know what perverted Bible she is using, but it sure isn’t the same as mine. My Bible says the opposite: that sex is for marriage. Anything else is adultery. And there is nothing wrong with gay marriage.

The only solution that protects everybody’s religious freedom is a Government that respects both of our interpretations. That is easy to do by letting two people who are able to get married, get married to each other. That's the only way that Miss Prejean does not have to get gay-married, and I do not have to get, as Miss. Prejean calls it, opposite-married.

Come on, Governor, with the budget disaster, you’re running out of legacies!

Sincerely,

Today's letter - American Idol Adam Lambert and Kris Allen teaches us about Prop 8 and #saveEarl

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

American Idol’s finale, filmed right here in your home city of Los Angeles, can teach us a lot about politics. This season was a strange déjà-vu kind of upset. Every poll, person and bookie thought that Adam Lambert would win. But he was nosed out against all reason by the straight-acting, straight-looking Kris Allen. Even Mr. Allen admitted that Mr. Lambert deserved to win.

The same thing happened in season 2 when Clay Aiken lost to Ruben something-or-other – the winner was not the better candidate or presumed favorite. And it also happened in 2008 when Proposition 8 was narrowly passed against all predictions and logic.

People in groups do things that, as individuals, they know are stupid.

The difference between Prop 8 and American Idol is that the California Constitution was written to prevent impulsive illogical groups from ganging up against a religion or race. And that Constitution, until it is changed, trumps a popular vote.

I don’t expect the Supreme Court to meddle in American Idol results, but I do hope they fix Proposition 8. An impulsive popular vote is not a fair way to decide fundamental human rights.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today's letter - how "separate but equal" became the law of the land the first time

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

“Separate but Equal” was made the law of the land in 1896 when the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Plessy v. Ferguson.

On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy boarded a car of the East Louisiana Railroad that was designated by Louisiana for use by white patrons only. Although Plessy was one-eighth black and seven-eighths white, under Louisiana state law he was classified as an African-American, and thus required to sit in the "colored" car. When Plessy refused to leave the white car and move to the colored car, he was arrested and jailed.

The case wound its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 7 to 1 decision the Court rejected the view that the law implied any inferiority of blacks, and contended that the law separated the two races as a matter of public policy, not inequity. Justice Brown declared, "We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it."

The sole dissenter, Justice John Marshall Harlan, wrote “...in the eye of the law, there is no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.” It took until 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education decision to change this law.

Governor, I will be happy if the California Supreme Court upholds Proposition 8 only when it can be demonstrated that a civil union is the same thing as marriage. As a gay dad who has been (and is) both Domestic Partnered and Married, I am quite skeptical that that is ever possible as long as my government allows the distinction to remain. Until then it is apartheid all over again, and that does not turn out well for anybody.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today's letter - hospitals will block gay parents and their children as long as marriage is unstandardized

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today’s New York Times tells the story of Lisa Pond, who collapsed on a cruise ship and was taken to the ER in Florida. Her Domestic Partner Janice Langbehn and their three adopted kids followed the ambulance. They were denied access to see Lisa for hours despite the fact that all the appropriate medical and legal forms were faxed to the hospital within 30 minutes. Lisa Pond died alone.

This family did everything that they were told to do: they had their lawyers provide partnership agreements, powers of attorney, wills and trusts. But they lacked the one thing that would have allowed Lisa Pound to see her three children and her life partner before she died: the dignity and documentation that only the time-tested legal structure of marriage can provide.

As a gay dad in California, I know how important family is in these kinds of situations. I do not sleep well at night knowing that this kind of family disaster will occur over and over again until every couple is able to access the same institution, full legal marriage.

My kids know I’m married, my parents know I’m married. My Church and congregation know that I’m married. In this kind of situation, the only thing that matters is if my Government considers that I’m married. Or can you assure me otherwise?

Sincerely,

Letter to GOP Chairman Michael Steele - prove it or apologize

Chairman Michael Steele
Republican National Committee
310 First Street
Washington, D. C. 20003

May 19, 2009

Dear Mr. Steele:

On May 16th you told the Georgia State Republican Convention that gay marriage costs small businesses more money than it makes them, because gay marriage laws force them to spend more on health care and other benefits for their gay-married employees than for their gay-unmarried employees.

As a small business owner and a gay dad, I know the facts, and I know that you are lying. I would like to respectfully ask you to prove what you are saying, or apologize for saying it.

You argued "Now all of a sudden I've got someone who wasn't a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for, So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money.”

Any small business owner will tell you that we are exempted from state policies that require us to pay different benefits to our married employees than our unmarried employees. In exchange for not discriminating on the basis of marital status, we are protected from having to pay more for married employees than unmarried employees.

Moreover, gay marriage in my state means that I get more business from marriages being performed here, and I have a larger pool of qualified workers to choose from. Massachusetts discovered that five years of same-sex marriage has attracted highly-skilled workers and produced an economic boost of over $110 million - and unlike your assertion, there are real studies that support that.

If you really were concerned about the supposed cost of married employees, you would ban all benefits for married employees, yet you single out the gays to specially deprive them of these benefits.

I am disappointed that you would choose to break the ninth commandment in order to argue that Republicans take a bigger role in the most intimate individual decisions; that my Government should decide who should get married instead my Church; or that fiscal stability depends on whether or not I can get married. And as we saw in the firing of Arabic Linguist Dan Choi because of his sexual orientation, your arguments about the awful gays don’t help national security either.

As a gay dad, I’ve seen your kind of bankrupt arguments before. They are designed to marginalize and dehumanize your neighbors as you advance a moral position at the expense of individual freedom.

Abraham Lincoln pointed out that “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Jesus said “treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated.” Would you like it if there was a law preventing you and the person that you love from getting married? If so, then I am happy to step aside, but if not, then you are obliged to grant me at least the same freedom that you enjoy.

I know from the Oreo incident that you are in the habit of speculating without proof. I know from your talk radio record your opinion about Civil Unions. I read about your call today for Republicans to stop apologizing. Well, here is your opportunity to answer that call and redeem yourself: prove how my marriage costs anybody anything.

Sincerely,

Monday, May 18, 2009

Today's letter - world's most embarassing argument as GOP leader tries to ban all marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

GOP Chairman Michael Steele told a crowd at the state convention in Atlanta that same-sex marriage is costly for small business.

He explained "Now all of a sudden I've got someone who wasn't a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for, So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money."

There are two small problems with this argument. The first is that, if Republicans were actually concerned about the costs of having employees who are married, then they should not stop at gays, they should ban marriage altogether. Then employers wouldn’t have to take financial responsibility for anybody’s spouse. I would like to hear Mr. Steele argue that; anything less is simply hypocritical.

Second, Mr. Steele’s comment ignores the small businesses that make money from gay weddings. After 5 years of extending marriage to gay couples, study after study shows Massachusetts has attracted highly-skilled workers and experienced an economic boost of over $110 million from the very practice Mr. Steele would ban.

It is not same-sex marriage that is costly for small business, it is the ban on gay marriage that is costly for small business.

Please, Governor, please explain to Californians that it is in our best interest for every Californian to be able to fully participate in the economy and society, and please explain to your party leadership the folly of letting somebody as blatantly ignorant as Mr. Steele steer your ship.

Sincerely,
to

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Today's letter - People of Faith stand firm in favor of same-sex marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

People of Faith are headed your way, and they’re armed with the clear message that God supports same-sex marriage.

The new partnership between the Human Rights Campaign and California Faith for Equality addresses the Opponents of Equality who use the Bible as a weapon. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese explains that the new partnership will “ensure that California voters know that many people of faith support same-sex marriage.”

I hope that the Republican party does more than just get the message: I hope that they actually fix their party platform so all Californians can enjoy not only protection of their religious freedom to marry according to their church’s beliefs, but also full participation in the economy and society through legal marriage.

Sincerely,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Today's letter - you are my sunshine, Governor

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I wrote a little song for the California Supreme Court to hear when it rules on my marriage. With apologies to former Louisiana State Governor Jimmie Davis, Charles Mitchell and Johnny Cash:

He is my husband, my only husband,
He makes me happy when skies are gray.
You’ll never know how much I love him.
Please don’t take my husband away.


You can call us domestic partners,
You can call us other names,
But no matter what you do, dears,
I love him just the same.

I'll always love him and make him happy,
And he often says the same.
It’s through marriage and only marriage,
he’s bound to love and to stay.

For my parents and my children,
There is only one word that will do:
It is marriage and only marriage.
I hope my Government does come through.

He is my husband, my only husband,
He makes me happy when skies are gray.
You’ll never know how much I love him.
Please don’t take my husband away.

Sincerely,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Today's letter - Donald Trumps

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Can you do something about this woman who is using the name of California to spread lies about gay people?

You may recall that Miss California Carrie Prejean stated her beliefs about gay marriage during the “brains” part of the Miss USA competition. Then she spoke as Miss USA but without the Pageant's permission in front of crowds opposed to gay marriage, while missing Miss California events she was contractually obligated to attend, constantly complaining about being muzzled and attacked for her beliefs.

Today The Donald rendered his decision on the matter. Who got punished? Co-executive director of the Miss California USA pageant Shanna Moakler, that’s who. Yes, Prejean’s boss got fired for speaking out her beliefs about Miss Prejean’s behavior.

As a gay dad I understand how the Opponents of Equality bully fair-minded Californians into silence by attacking their families. I get hate mail at least once a week. My religious belief in marriage is illegal in California. My Governor belongs to a political party with a platform that calls for my extinction. Why? Because of the hypocritical bullying of people like Miss Prejean, who in the name of California and God pass judgment on me and my family. Because of people like Donald Trump who choose to muzzle the voice of reason rather than the precocious bully. Because of people like you, who tolerate the Opponents of Equality.

I wish you would remind Miss Prejean what she was actually taught: that no good citizen and Christian would deny freedoms to others.

Sincerely,

Today's letter - Pat Robertson's slippery soapbox undermines freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Televangelist Pat Robertson weighed in on the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Law that Maine’s Governor John Baldacci signed earlier this week with the tired “Slippery Slope” argument:

We haven’t taken this to its ultimate conclusion. You got polygamy out there. How can we rule that polygamy is illegal when you say that homosexual marriage is legal? What is it about polygamy that’s different? Well, polygamy was outlawed because it was considered immoral according to biblical standards. But if we take biblical standards away in homosexuality, what about the other? And what about bestiality and ultimately what about child molestation and pedophilia? How can we criminalize these things and at the same time have constitutional amendments allowing same-sex marriage among homosexuals. You mark my words, this is just the beginning in a long downward slide in relation to all the things that we consider to be abhorrent.


Saying marriage is between two people is not a slippery slope. Two people who are worthy of marriage ought to be able to marry each other, without interference from the government.

The real "slippery slope" is certainly not polygamy, but rather it is the next thing that the Opponents of Equality will take away. Will it be divorce? How about the ability to teach science in our schools? Or the freedom to choose our own religion?

As a parent I am much more terrified of what a Robertsonocracy would do to this country: replace what the Bible actually says ("treat others as you would like to be treated") with whatever Robertson says it says. I mean, Governor, do you want Pat Robertson to have more power than you?

Sincerely,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today's letter - jury of my peers

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

This is Jury Appreciation Week, which I discovered when I was called in for jury duty.

The jurors on my panel were asked to state the occupation of their spouse or significant other. Most people answered “my husband,” “my wife,” “my fiancée” or “I’m single.”

Thanks to the California Supreme Court I was able to answer the question simply, using the term “my husband.” Everybody knew the nature of my relationship and understood the commitment that I had made.

Because of your 2007 veto of AB 43 (The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act) and the ensuing Proposition 8, other Californians who were not able to get married during 2007 are denied the opportunity to call their most significant significant other their “husband” or “wife.”

I wish we lived in a state where two adults who are willing and able to marry are not blocked by their government from marrying each other.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today's letter - no marriage, no kids

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Why do the Opponents of Equality say same-sex couples should not marry because they can’t have kids, then try to pass legislation banning them from having kids?

Mike Duke, the CEO of Wal-Mart, the world's largest grocery retailer, signed a petition to put the anti-gay adoption ban on the ballot in Arkansas. Then voters turned that into a law.

California is headed the same way. We already have a government that meddles in my marriage, and a Republican Party Platform that says that Homosexuals should not be able to adopt children.

Governor, I wish you would do more to fix this apartheid of freedom and dignity. California needs every family fully participating in our economy and society.

Sincerely,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Today's letter - new marriage stamps are equal, we should be too

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The US Postal Service released new postage stamps for the 44¢ rate, the “marriage” stamp shows two rings entwined, just as we understand marriage to be: a contractual relationship between two people.

You say that “Domestic Partnership” is the same as marriage. Well, where is our “Domestic Partnership” stamp?

Please, Governor, stop our government from redefining love. There is nothing wrong with same-sex marriage; there is everything wrong with apartheid.

Sincerely,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today's letter - bumper sticker says "I Hate Prop 8"

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Please enjoy this “Repeal Prop 8” bumper sticker. Maybe you can put it on your Hummer?

Sincerely,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Today's letter - boycotts are an unfortunate outcome of intolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

San Diego Hotelier Doug “Papa” Manchester contributed $125,000 to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. His three properties have been boycotted by fair minded Californians since July of last year. Guests at the Grand Hyatt are greeted by protesters, and groups seeking a meeting place are successfully warned away. It has been quite effective.

Michael Stetz, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, reported that Mr. Manchester is irate. He told his CFO “I am now really angry, and I consider this a personal attack on myself and my family.”

I can sympathize, but I have no sympathy. Papa Manchester spent $125,000 to attack me and my family. Now the shoe is on the other foot, right where it belongs.

Governor, this is the inevitable result of wedge politics. Whenever you deny people the ability to participate fully in our society and economy, everybody loses. Please support Harvey Milk Day and the Freedom to Marry, so our business can stay here in California where it belongs.

Sincerely,

Friday, May 8, 2009

Today's letter - Maine is now a Free State

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Maine Governor John Baldacci signed a bill yesterday ending the state’s special exclusion of same-sex couples from their society and economy, stating simply:

I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.
I hope you get a chance to congratulate your fellow Governor Baldacci for this courageous and righteous act.

Sincerely,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Today's letter - domestic terrorists really hate people

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The messenger is as important as the message. All those phone calls you get from the Opponents of Equality – the ones who want you to do away same-sex marriage, end domestic partnerships and veto Harvey Milk Day – are being led by some pretty weird folks.

The National Organization for Marriage got a new board member, Orson Scott Card. He says that “[homosexuals] flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior [and] cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens.”

He also says “marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.”

Now I’m sure you have a pretty big “whacko” file on me by now, but I’m the one who just wants you to enforce the Constitution. Orson Scott Card is the one advocating a holocaust and threatening to blow up government buildings. History shows that if you give these people a voice, we will all lose, starting promptly with our freedom.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Today's letter - sign SB 572 Harvey Milk Day

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I want to write to urge you to sign SB 572, the legislation that would create Harvey Milk Day in California.

Harvey Milk fought hard to be treated with the same dignity and respect as his heterosexual counterparts. His winning opened the door to full inclusion of all Californians in the economy and society.

Opponents of Equality will fight against this like they fought against Mr. Milk – with lies and violence. I hope you will join the House and the Senate to recognize what is right, and sign this bill into law.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Today's letter - treat Miss California like she treats others

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Well, it took less time than I thought it would for Miss California to demonstrate why Opponents of Equality are ethically bankrupt. Since the pageant where Carrie Prejean announced her beliefs and renounced her crown, it was revealed that:


About the nude pictures, Miss Prejean says “I am a Christian, and I am a model. ... Recently photos taken of me as a teenager have been released. ... But these attacks on me and others who speak in defense of traditional marriage are intolerant and offensive.” Wow, she really doesn’t understand Karma, does she?

I wish you keep this lesson in mind the next time the Opponents of Equality approach you to have you veto a human rights bill. Opponents of Equality, like all Americans, are free to believe what they want, however they are not free to do things that hurt other people.

Sincerely,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Today's letter - Jack Kemp lived and died by the same sword

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I was saddened to hear of Jack Kemp's death over the weekend. This nine-term Congressman from New York said the usual vile things about gay people that Republicans have been known for, but what differentiated Mr. Kemp was how rumors of his sexual preferences (dalliances would be a better word) were used by his political allies to suppress him.

As background, Mr. Kemp had some logical quirks that made him endearing. He advocated mandatory testing for Americans infected with HIV (which obviously wouldn’t be known without an HIV test, you see.) He also famously stated "I believe in civil liberties for homosexuals, ... I guess I'd have to say I'd draw the line at letting them teach in the schools.”

But perhaps the greatest Catch 22 arose when he tried to run for the 1988 Republican Presidential nomination and again in 1996 when he was Bob Dole’s running mate. Every time he tried to gain a foothold in the Republican party, rumors swirled that he was gay. From an indirect and unfair link to a "homosexual ring" within the Reagan circle, to ownership of a gay ski lodge that was completely unknown to Kemp, no weapon was spared to incriminate Mr. Kemp. The rumors worked all the way up to NBC's "Today" show which spent much time dwelling on the ‘suspicions’ and never properly vindicated him.

Governor, as you face a political future beyond the Governor’s office, I would urge you to begin lopping off the Opponents of Equality as rapidly as possible. History has shown that gay marriage is not an issue of faith but a lever for power, and as long as that weapon exists, it will surely be aimed at you.

Sincerely,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Today's letter - a mother is a female parent

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Now that our kids are old enough to celebrate various holidays, the question rises about how to handle Mother’s Day. When a friend asked just that on the patio after Church today, I explained that a mother is a female parent just like a father is a male parent. So on Mother’s Day we celebrate the female parents in our family – two grandmothers and a great-grandmother - and the role they played in our lives.

With no more fanfare than distinguishing between “Latino” and “Latina” or “waiter” and “waitress,” we addressed the issue to everybody’s satisfaction.

I am very happy with this explanation of Mother’s Day. You and I both know that it is wrong to assign genders to pilots, engineers, nurses, doctors and priests, and it is equally wrong to assign genders to caregivers.

Having two words is one thing, having two sets of laws is another. I wish we could just call two parents who are raising their kid “married” like our Church does instead of something qualified by their gender like your Government does.

Sincerely,

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today's letter - Miley Cyrus has more Jesus in her thumb than One Million Moms have in their whole hive

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The very curious thing about Twitter is that Twitter is a curious thing. Often, you can only hear one side of the conversation, and are left to your own imagination to fill in the details. For example, I was looking through local Tweets – within five miles of my current location – and noticed one from @mileycyrus:

“love is the lords greatest commandment. i understand the bible just fine!!! :)”

I can imagine the message that inspired that because as an openly Gay Christian I have used that same line several times myself. It took just a few moments of research to uncover the back story. “Hannah Montana” star Miley Cyrus has drawn the ire of the Opponents of Equality for some of her recent Twitter messages to her gay friends:

  • "Everyone deserves to love and be loved and most importantly smile."
  • "Jesus loves you and your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! That's like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz he's gay and that is wrong and very sad!
  • "Like I said everyone deserves to be happy."
  • "God’s greatest commandment is to love. And judging is not loving."
  • "I am a Christian and I love you - gay or not - because you are no different than anyone else! We are all God's children."

So the Opponents of Equality are showing their love of Jesus by attacking Miley Cyrus for saying that “everyone deserves to be happy.” That is really vile.

I am writing to you about this, Governor, to show how ethically bankrupt this argument is, in the hope that you will prevent these Opponents of Equality from forming public policy based on their so-called religion, to the determent of the dignity and freedom of every Californian.

Sincerely,

Friday, May 1, 2009

Today's letter - Off with her crown!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The big news this May Day is that Miss California Carrie Prejean has left California to join NOM, the National Organization for Marriage, which despite its name, is actually working its dandiest to block marriages.

My Bible says "suffer not a woman to teach, but to keep her silence." (1 Timothy 2:12) which along with other similar admonishments (1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Corinthians 11:3) makes it clear Ms. Prejean is a grievous sinner.

Does she have the right to say “marriage should be between a man and a woman?” By her own yardstick, no, she does not. If we are using the Bible as the measure of rights then either I should be able to get married, or she should shut up. "for it is not permitted to them to speak."

I think she needs to have her crown stripped. She has abandoned California and her Special Olympics cause to take away my religious freedom. For that she deserves it not herself.

Sincerely,

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today's letter - Help New Hampshire Avoid California's Mistake

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

New Hampshire is on the verge of converting their year-old “Civil Union” structure into full and proper marriage. HB 436 only needs the Governor’s signature to become law.

Sound familiar? It should. That was the choice you were faced with in 2007 when you vetoed AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

I wrote to Governor Lynch to point out that after you vetoed AB 43, I was sad that my friends would have to go to Massachusetts to get married instead of Disneyland; humiliated that my religious beliefs were made subservient to those of others; and outraged that my Governor thought he was more worthy of marriage than I.

I realize that you didn’t get through to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas in time to stop his veto, but could you give John Lynch a call (you can do that, right?) (try 603-271-2121 in case you don’t have it) and tell him why, as you said, you would have signed AB 43 if you were legally able.

It’s a chance to be cohesive instead of divisive.

Sincerely,

Letter to New Hampshire Governor John Lynch

Governor John Lynch
State House
25 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301

April 30, 2009

Dear Governor Lynch,

I live in California where our Governor was sent two same-sex marriage bills and vetoed them both.

  • It was painful to have my governor say that he is better at deciding who I can marry than I am.

  • It was sad to watch our friends go to Canada and Massachusetts to get married instead of Disneyland.

  • It was confusing to our children to have parents who weren’t married.

  • It was humiliating to have my religion and beliefs made subservient to others.
Please, before you make your decision on HB 436, talk to your wife and ask her about what the professionals in pediatrics agree: there is nothing wrong with gay marriage. Then imagine your life if you were Domestic Partnered instead of married.

Call Governor Schwarzenegger (you can do that, right?) and ask him if he regrets his veto: he has said he does.

And invoke the words of former Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus who signed the first statewide gay rights law in the United States in 1982: "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."

Yours,



P.S. I know you are a Democrat – act like one and sign this human rights bill!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today's letter - 100 days of hope

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today is President Obama’s 100th day in office.

As my mom keeps reminding me, Mr. Obama does not believe in same-sex marriage. Indeed, in his first 100 days, we do not have a hate crimes law, nor a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act; gays are not allowed openly in the military, and I still pay $1243 more taxes a year without being able to share Medicare or social security with my husband.

What we do have is hope. Somebody who realizes that apartheid is wrong, no matter how popular it is. Somebody who goes on TV to heal and not divide. Somebody who is willing to pass civil rights legislation, and not veto it.

A leader like that is really rare, and you can see why he is so popular. Like Harvey Milk, he cuts through the bigotry and gets things done. I wish you would give Californians hope. Please help California turn away the Opponents of Equality. You can start by signing SB 572, the bill that would make May 22 Harvey Milk Day.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today's letter - Doctors should not be able to choose between their faith and their job

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

In the “Gathering Storm” ad being aired by the National Organization for Marriage (“NOM”) there is a California doctor who testifies that she “has to choose between my faith and my job.”

I don’t want to live in a state where the doctor at the emergency room triages patients based on their beliefs; I don’t want to live in a state where my HMO sends patients to somebody who gives them second-class treatment because of their prejudices.

I don’t think the remedy is getting rid of same-sex marriage. Governor, could you please contact NOM to find out who that California doctor is, so she can be immediately removed from medical practice?

Sincerely,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Today's letter - Iowa stubbornness or sensibility?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I could not let today pass without mentioning that the first same-sex marriages are taking place in Iowa!

Up until this decision, all I knew about Iowa I learned from The Music Man: “We’re so dog-gone stubborn we can stand and touch our noses for a week at a time and never see eye to eye. But what the heck, you’re welcome, join us at the picnic. (You can have your share of all the food you bring yourself.)”

I know how happy I was when I got married in California after 11 years as “domestic partners” - June 17, 2008. I hear stories from Massachusetts about how marriage liberated couple after couple in ways that domestic partnership did not, simply because people understand “marriage.” I remember the hurt when marriages were stopped in California, when the people of California said “no, you’re not welcome even to a share of the food you bring yourself.” And I remember the joy when New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa joined Massachusetts in saying “freedom means freedom for everybody.”

I would have expected to be run out of Iowa on rails like Professor Harold Hill, but never out of California. I guess things have changed in the 21st century.

Sincerely,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Today's letter - Just Domestic Partnered

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As you probably know, Disneyland City Hall issues buttons for people to wear in the park for people celebrating events such as:

- first visit
- honorary citizen
- happy birthday
- happy anniversary
- just married

Do you agree with me that they ought to have “Just Domestic Partnered” buttons too?

I’m nobody, but if you were to write to them and suggest it, they might take the issue of equivalency more seriously. Their address is:

Disneyland Guest Relations
1313 Harbor Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92803

Many thanks in advance,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Today's letter - Nobody Wants Domestic Partnerships

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I’m curious to know why opposite-sex couples cannot get Domestic Partnerships in California until one or both is over age 62?

It seems to me that Family Code section 297 (b) (B) ...” persons of opposite sexes may not constitute a domestic partnership unless one or both of the persons are over the age of 62” is in direct contradiction to several constitutional protected classes.

Is this because nobody has bothered to sue over this, or because nobody wants to get Domestic Partnered when they can get Married instead?

Sincerely,

Friday, April 24, 2009

Today's letter - Arrest California

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I have a civics question for you. Who is responsible for making sure that California follows its own laws?

The reason that I’m asking is because California seems to be breaking the law by issuing marriage licenses, and I can’t remember from high school who is supposed to fix that. As you know, The California Supreme Court ruled last June that we cannot issue marriage licenses to one group of people and not to another. And then Proposition 8 passed that said that we can’t issue marriage licenses to one group of people.

It seems to me that California ought to stop issuing marriage licenses to everybody – same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike. It is the only thing that is fair.

The people have said that Domestic Partnership is good enough, right? So who is supposed to get California to follow her laws?

Thank you in advance for your help,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today's letter - Miss California Represents Selfish Bigots

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

As you know, Miss California USA had a rough time over the weekend with the task of representing Californians as being welcoming tolerant folk. Yesterday morning, we found out that she has a sister, a second lieutenant in the Air Force, who is a gay rights activist,

Carrie Prejean told Billy Bush yesterday that, "No. She supports gay people, she supports gay marriage. My beliefs have nothing to do with my sister or my mom, or whatever."

Like Pete Knight, who hated his son so much that he put together Proposition 22 to try to make it impossible for him to ever marry in this state, Miss California has her own opinions and doesn’t seem to care if they hurt her sister, her fellow Californians, or even me.

“No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman. Thank you very much.”

I was similarly sad when Californians passed Proposition 8, and when you vetoed AB 43, the bill that would have avoided all this roughage by laying it out plain and simple, that “Freedom means Freedom for everybody.”

I wish you would send the right message, that Californians believe in a small and distant government that doesn’t tell us how to live our lives, instead of what Ms. Prejean represents: a selfish denial of dignity and respect.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today's letter - Miss California Represents Hate

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

What is up with Miss California? As you know, she was on the verge of winning the Miss USA pageant last night, until she opened her mouth and revealed what was inside: somebody who seems to think that “freedom” means having her government choose who is more and less worthy of marriage.

Here was the exchange:

Celebrity Judge Perez Hilton: “Vermont recently became the 4th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit. Why or why not?”

Miss USA Contestant Carrie Prejean: “Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman. Thank you very much.”

As a Californian, it was a tremendous embarrassment to hear this representative of California say that she “thinks that she believes” that I’m not as worthy of marriage as she is. That she “was raised to believe” in apartheid. Or that she thought that Californians “were free to choose same-sex or opposite [sex] marriage” when they are so offensively not.

Governor, what kind of schools do we have here, that teach that Citizenship includes taking away people’s families, that Liberty somehow justifies oppression, and where Fellowship includes hate?

It’s getting difficult for those who crave freedom to live peacefully alongside people like Ms. Prejean, who seemingly on a whim makes all Californians seem like ignorant bigots. Please, help the kids to understand that “rights” don’t work when you deny them to others.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today's letter - GOP goes Gay

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I just wanted to make sure that you noticed Meghan McCain’s memo to the GOP, “Go Gay.” In it, she blames her father’s recent loss to President Obama squarely on the Republican Party’s use of anti-gay rhetoric to whip up the base. She reminds us that the most popular Republican of all time, Ronald Reagan, supported homosexuals during the 1978 Briggs attack, and argues that if the Republican Party ever wants to see that kind of popularity again, it needs to do things like Lincoln and Reagan, not like Anita Bryant and G. W. Bush.

Ms. McCain spells it out:

If you think certain rights should not apply to certain people, then you are saying those people are not equal. People may always have a difference of opinion on certain lifestyles, but championing a position that wants to treat people unequally isn't just un-Republican. At its fundamental core, it's un-American.

So, Governor, are you going to take up Ms. McCain’s challenge by coming forward and playing an instrumental role in securing gay rights like Gavin Newsom, or are you going to sit on the sidelines like George Wallace until the courts decide for you? I wish you would take Ms. McCain’s advice and save the Republicans.

Sincerely,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Today's letter - Stand for what?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

George Wallace gave his inaugural speech as Alabama Governor on January 14 1963:

In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.

Over the next few years he became increasingly convinced that segregation would destroy civilization. He blocked black students from entering a white school until Federal Marshalls and the National Guard compelled him to stand aside. President John F. Kennedy, he said, “wants us to surrender this state to Martin Luther King and his group of pro-Communists who have instituted these demonstrations.”

Well, racial segregation ended, and there are few today who would argue that we are worse off because of it. Even Wallace himself was “born again” in 1977 and apologized to the people that his bigotry harmed.

You had a chance to change history, Governor, by signing AB 43. You chose to follow Wallace instead, to the determent of your party and your people. When are you going to apologize?

Sincerely,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Today's letter - No Papists

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

If you think the gays have it bad, did you know that England’s 1688 Bill of Rights prohibits heirs to the British throne from marrying a Catholic? As recently as 1978, the queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent was removed from the line of succession when he married Marie-Christine von Reibnitz.

Catholics make up about 8% of Britian’s population, but Prime Minister Gordon Brown pointed out that “in the 21st century, people do expect discrimination to be removed.”

Since the British head of state is also regent of 15 other nations including Canada, Australia, Jamaica and Barbados, changing the law is complicated since all would have to agree to the changes.

Yes, it is complicated, but what a relief to hear a politician talking about removing discrimination to boost their popularity. Maybe your Republicans should try it?

Sincerely,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Today's letter - resistance is futile

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

American Physicist reflected on his experience with the Los Alamos bomb-building program in his 1985 book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and came to a realization about the futility of existence:

I sat in a restaurant in New York... and I looked out at the buildings and I began to think, you know, about how much the radius of the Hiroshima bomb damage was and so forth... How far from here was 34th street?... All those buildings, all smashed — and so on. And I would see people building a bridge, or they'd be making a new road, and I thought, they're crazy, they just don't understand, they don't understand. Why are they making new things? It's so useless.

But, fortunately, it's been useless for almost forty years now, hasn't it? So I've been wrong about it being useless making bridges and I'm glad those other people had the sense to go ahead.


The Opponents of Equality say that a storm is coming, that gay marriage will destroy civilization. As Mr. Feynman pointed out, people have been predicting destruction for a long time. When I see a gay couple holding hands, or a lesbian couple holding their newborn child, I am so glad that people had the sense to go ahead when those around them were telling them that they were less worthy of marriage or doomed to failure because of their “disease.”

Will marriage apartheid be around in a few years? Of course not. Only the regrets of those who thought it was useless to pursue love because of what Opponents of Equality told them.

Sincerely,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Today's letter - Mean People

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Bishop Gene Robinson is coming to visit our church this weekend, and pick up a GLAAD Media Award along the way.

Bishop Robinson was not allowed to participate in discussions at the Lambeth conference in England last summer. The organizers banned him from the buildings and church where the meeting was held.

"The level of exclusion took my breath away," the bishop said, “but I was sustained by my belief that God has a plan that includes justice for everyone. No matter what crap goes on here, God wins.”

I too am confident that California will get past this hateful, hurtful apartheid imposed by Proposition 8.

I wish you would ask the people of California to join you in overcoming their prejudice and welcome their lesbian and gay neighbors as they would expect to be welcomed themselves. Anything less breaks the Golden Rule and shatters my faith in my Church, my Government and my fellow Californians.

Sincerely,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's letter - Napa Hates Gays

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

What is going on in this state? I just read in the San Francisco Chronicle that Napa City Councilman Mark van Gorder asked his colleagues to support a resolution saying the "city does not support discrimination and finds that all people regardless of gender should be able to enter into the legal contract of marriage."

He was the only one who voted in favor. Three other council members did not vote, saying they were not comfortable taking a position on the issue. The vice mayor did not attend. The measure did not pass.

Bethany Holden-Soto and her wife cancelled a weekend getaway in Napa because of it.

"We want to take a trip with our tax return money and Napa seemed like a nice place," said Holden-Soto, 28, of Modesto. "We like wine and we wanted to go somewhere gay friendly, where we wouldn't have to worry and people wouldn't care. Then I heard about the resolution and thought it might be a bad idea."

We gays can’t go to Napa, San Diego, Los Angeles, anyplace inland, or even Sacramento without being beaten up because of who we are. We can’t have fairy tale weddings at Disneyland and can’t honeymoon at the Madonna Inn. We can’t even get Domestic Partnered at a courthouse – we have to go to a photocopier in the Glendale Galleria.

You say that you want to get California’s economy going – well, I wish you would do something about it. When government interferes in the people’s personal lives, the economy suffers. You have no business telling us who is – and is not - worthy of marriage. So stop it!

Sincerely,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Today's letter - Religious Mailbag

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I got a really nice note from a reader who saw my posting about The Book of Ruth and how Ruth’s relationship with Naomi inspired her like it inspired me.

You may recall that Ruth and Naomi promised to love and protect each other, “’till death do we part” and wound up having a son together.

“PhourQ” writes “I believe the story of Ruth and Naomi was an answer I received when praying about this issue. I'm glad others are seeing it too.”

That seemed so concise and spiritual that I needed to share. This is relevant to the governorship because it is evidence that there are many Californians who believe, as I do, that marriage is intended to unite two people for mutual joy, comfort in adversity and to raise children in the Church. Without pronouns!

“PhourQ” goes on to say “If people want to argue that the 10 commandments still stand in order to receive salvation, then it's funny to see people try to wiggle homosexuality into the 10 commandments...it's just not there.”

Governor, you do not have to advocate for same-sex marriage because of gay rights, you can advocate for same-sex marriage for religious freedom. The way I read our Constitution, you have to.

Sincerely,

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas - Explain your Opposition

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 8, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill H275

Dear Governor Douglas,

I just read the news that your veto of H275, the bill that would bring same-sex marriage to Vermont, was overridden by the legislature.

The excuses that you gave for your veto – that it is a “personal” decision, that it “interferes” with lawmakers’ attention to the economy – all ring hollow to me. You are an elected representative vetoing a bill that would keep jobs and families in Vermont – so there must be another reason.

I would like an explanation of what you were honestly thinking when you chose to oppose equality. Why would an American deny freedom to another; why would a Republican meddle in individual personal relationships; why would a Christian go against even the teachings of his UCC Church, and treat others as he would not like to be treated himself?

Sincerely,

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today's letter - California's history, usurped

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today is an historic day. It marks the first time that a state has eliminated a ban on same-sex marriage without being compelled to do so by the courts.

But in keeping with other traditions, it was a Republican governor who vetoed the legislation.

I would like to ask you for an explanation of what you were honestly thinking when you chose to oppose equality, something that I can tell my kids to explain why well-intentioned people seem to do cruel things. Maybe you could ask Governor Douglas for some help. Why would an American deny freedom to another; why would a Republican meddle in individual personal relationships; why would a Christian go against the teachings of his Church, and treat others as he would not like to be treated himself?

It’s the little things like this that remind us which party stands for getting government out of people’s lives, lower taxes and family values, and which party is - still - opposed to equality.

Sincerely,

Today's letter - those who oppose equality are unfit for office

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Today is an historic day. It marks the first time that a state has eliminated a ban on same-sex marriage without being compelled to do so by the courts.

But in keeping with other traditions, it was a Republican governor who vetoed the legislation along the way.

I would like an explanation of what you were honestly thinking when you chose to oppose equality, something that I can tell my kids to explain why well-intentioned people seem to do cruel things. Maybe you could ask Governor Douglas for some help. Why would an American deny freedom to another; why would a Republican meddle in individual personal relationships; why would a Christian go against the teachings of his Church, and treat others as he would not like to be treated himself?

It’s the little things like this that remind us which party stands for getting government out of people’s lives, lower taxes and family values, and which party is - still - opposed to equality.

Sincerely,

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas - You Stand Alone

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 7, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill H275

Dear Governor Douglas,

I just read the news that you vetoed H275, the bill that would make civil marriage available to every Vermonter.

What I don’t get is why when court after court after court says that bans on same sex marriage are unconstitutional, that you insisted on perpetuating such bans?

All around you, in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ontario, Quebec and even in Vermont itself, the courts have said that “freedom means freedom for everybody.”

I wish you would take their message to heart, done the right thing and signed H275. Instead, you will go down in history as an Opponent of Equality, enemy of freedom, and just another Republican who proves the rule that people who hate their constituents are unfit for public office.

Sincerely,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas - Fiscal Responsibility

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 6, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

I read in the Wall Street Journal that you have promised to veto the bill that would make same sex marriage legal in Vermont. The reason that you gave in the article, and your March 25 statement, was that lawmakers should focus on the economy instead of civil rights bills. I do not understand your hypocrisy.

Perhaps lawmakers are concerned about all of the Vermonters who have to go to New Hampshire to have their weddings. Or about the extra cost of maintaining two sets of laws. Perhaps it is prudent to eliminate tax loopholes that let civil union couples pay lower taxes than civil married couples, or avoid costly court battles over equality.

Whatever the reason, if you truly want lawmakers to focus on the economy, then the most expeditious thing to do would be to sign S. 115 into law. Otherwise all you are doing is wasting their time and yours by vetoing change that is inevitable.

I wish you would take the financially prudent, least obstructive and morally correct action and sign S. 115.

Sincerely,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas - Postponing Inevitable

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 5, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

In 2006 you vetoed a civil rights bill banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity by employers, financial institutions, housing, public accommodations, and other contexts, and then you signed it in 2007. And you were reelected.

Now you have a chance to sign S. 115, a civil rights bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by the state in the context of marriage. You have said that you will veto it. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. Why should Vermonters have to wait for civil rights when it is just sitting on your desk?

It’s time for a change of heart. Please sign S. 115 and end civil apartheid in Vermont.

Sincerely,

Today's letter - Court after Court

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

Court after court after court have declared that denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. From Hawaii in 1993, to Iowa in 2009, the courts have all said that “freedom means freedom for everybody.”

The Opponents of Equality have been busy changing our Constitutions so that some are more worthy of civil marriage than others.

This is wrong. It is sad and pathetic to lose the principles Americans value most – that all of us are created equal, with equal opportunity to life, liberty and happiness.

I wish you would do more to oppose this tyranny and explain to the people of California that it is wrong to treat others as you would not like to be treated yourself.

Sincerely,

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas - Republicans Change

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 4, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

When I heard that you were planning to veto the civil marriage bill S. 115, I recalled that many other Republicans have had a change of heart about this issue. Maybe it’s not too late for you.

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

Even California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that he would have signed our version of S. 115 if it was legally possible for him to do so.

I wish you would do the Republican thing: get Government out of our personal lives. Make Government smaller. Let individual people make individual decisions. And sign S. 115.

Sincerely,

Friday, April 3, 2009

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas - Righteous Republicans

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 3, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

The mayor of San Diego was about to veto a bill very similar to S. 115, a statement in support of same-sex marriage in California. He wound up signing it. He said:

For three decades, I have worked to bring enlightenment, justice and equality to all parts of our community. As I reflected on the choices that I had before me last night I could just not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community they were less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage than anyone else simply because of their sexual orientation.


It is not too late for you to consider what message you are sending if you veto S. 115. I would be disappointed if you chose to tell some Vermonters that they are less deserving of their religious freedom simply because of their sexual orientation.

Sincerely,


Attachment: Mayor Sanders’ statement

Mayor Jerry Sanders’ Statement on the City Council Resolution Supporting Same Sex Marriage

“With me this afternoon is my wife, Rana.

“I am here this afternoon to announce that I will sign the resolution that the City Council passed yesterday directing the City Attorney to file a brief in support of gay marriage.

“My plan, that has been reported publicly, was to veto the resolution, so I feel like I owe all San Diegans right now an explanation for this change of heart. During the campaign two years ago, I announced that I did not support gay marriage and instead supported civil unions and domestic partnerships.

“I have personally wrestled with that position ever since. My opinions on this issue have evolved significantly, as I think the opinions of millions of Americans from all walks of life have. In order to be consistent with the position I took during the mayoral election, I intended to veto the Council resolution. As late as yesterday afternoon, that was my position.
“The arrival of the resolution, to sign or veto, in my office late last night forced me to reflect and search my soul for the right thing to do. I have decided to lead with my heart, to do what I think is right, and to take a stand on behalf of equality and social justice. The right thing for me to do is to sign this resolution.
“For three decades, I have worked to bring enlightenment, justice and equality to all parts of our community. As I reflected on the choices that I had before me last night, I just could not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community they were less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage, than anyone else — simply because of their sexual orientation.

“A decision to veto this resolution would have been inconsistent with the values I have embraced over the past 30 years. I do believe that times have changed. And with changing time, and new life experiences, come different opinions. I think that’s natural, and certainly it is true in my case.

“Two years ago, I believed that civil unions were a fair alternative. Those beliefs, in my case, have since changed. The concept of a “separate but equal” institution is not something that I can support.

“I acknowledge that not all members of our community will agree or perhaps even understand my decision today. All I can offer them is that I am trying to do what I believe is right. I have close family members and friends who are members of the gay and lesbian community. Those folks include my daughter Lisa, as well as members of my personal staff. I want for them the same thing that we all want for our loved ones, for each of them to find a mate whom they love deeply and who loves them back, someone with whom they can grow old together and share life’s experiences. And I want their relationships to be protected equally under the law. In the end, I couldn’t look any of them in the face and tell them that their relationships — their very lives — were any less meaningful than the marriage that I share with my wife Rana. Thank you.”

Today's letter - Iowa has more freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -


In 1839 Iowa rejected slavery. In 1868, racially segregated “separate but equal” schools were rejected, and in 1869, Iowa admitted women to the practice of law. Then for a century, Iowa stood still while places like California lead the way on religious freedom and civil equality.

That spell was broken today when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that the state’s law forbidding same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

In contrast, California led the charge into the 21st century in the palms of the Opponents of Equality, with two vetos and a ballot initiative creating “separate but equal” institutions for domestic relationships.

I wish you had taken a more active role in protecting California’s legacy as a place where every citizen could be treated with dignity and respect. Instead you did nothing while the Constitutional protection of the minority was trampled by the tyranny of the majority.

Now Californians will have to go to Iowa to get married, instead of Disneyland. Thanks, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Sincerely,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas - Civil Sameness

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 2, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

You have said that Vermont’s civil union law has extended the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.

I invite you to dissolve your marriage with Dorothy and replace it with a Civil Union.

If that is unappealing to you then I suggest that you “do unto others” and sign S. 115 to end marriage apartheid in Vermont.

Sincerely,

Today's letter - Those California Whackos

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -


I got a phone message from a friend of mine from high school warning me to “watch out for all those liberal whackos out there in California.” Since he lives in Massachusetts, I had to respond, “I’m more terrified by the tyranny of the Richard Nixons and Ronald Reagans who live out here than the Ted Kennedys and Eliot Spitzers who live out there.”

He got a laugh out of that. Who knew that New York would get gay marriage before California?


Sincerely,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas - April's Fool

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 1, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

Today was April Fool’s day, so when I first heard that the Governor of Vermont was going to veto S. 115, “An Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Recognize Equality in Civil Marriage,” I didn’t believe it.

But sure enough, you did promise to veto it. Imagine that – you are just another Republican who thinks that he knows better than I do how to live my life; another Christian who thinks he is more worthy of civil sacraments than I am; another American who does to others as he would not do to himself.

I hope that you are really just fooling and that you will at the end of the day you will do what’s right, and sign S. 115.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas - No Excuse

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

March 31, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

What I don’t get is why in a state with its long history of accepting gays and lesbians on par with heterosexuals, you are unwilling to take the final step towards full equality?

The excuses that you give – that it is a “personal” decision, that it “interferes” with lawmakers’ attention to the economy – all ring hollow to me.

I would like an explanation that I am not embarrassed to tell my kids. One that explains why an American would deny freedom to another; why a Republican would meddle in individual personal relationships, or why a Christian would go against even the teachings of his UCC Church and treat others as he would not like to be treated himself.

Sincerely,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Today's letter - Countdown to Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

The most powerful arguments used to justify a ban on same-sex marriages are the results of the voter initiatives in March of 2000 and November of 2008. But those arguments will expire soon.

Proposition 22 won by 11.4% but Proposition 8 only won by 2.3%. By my calculations, between those elections more than 400 voters a day changed their minds about same-sex marriage. At that rate, the margin will be zero on January 11, 2011 – exactly two years from today.

California’s legislature, judiciary and Constitution all support same-sex marriage. Finally, on January 11, 2011, the people will support same-sex marriage too. I hope you continue to help the people of California to understand that there is nothing wrong with same-sex marriage, and everything wrong in opposing it.


Sincerely,

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Today's letter - Shouldn't Churches Decide

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -


The biggest arguments I’ve been in about same-sex marriage have hinged on what the bible says about same-sex relationships. Apparently not even the churches can decide!

Some, like the Episcopal Church, believe that all God’s children should be able to participate in the rites of the Church. Others, like the Catholic Church, decided that gay people are not worthy of the rites of ordination and marriage.

When St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach had to choose between “treat thy neighbor as thyself” and “I’m better than the gays,” they decided to leave the Episcopal Church. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that St. James cannot violate the beliefs of the Church, and take the property of the Church with them.

St. James is the exception that proves the rule: freedom of religion demands freedom to marry. The Supreme Court realizes this, the legislature realizes this, and the churches realize this. Why does our government continue to block my freedom to believe, and my freedom to marry?


Sincerely,

Monday, January 5, 2009

Today's letter - four levels of sin, and gay marriage isn't even on there

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

There are four levels of sin in the Bible. There are "fish on Fridays" sins that are completely made up; "shave and dress" sins that are so old-testament that nobody follows them anymore. There are "ten commandments" sins that are a little more poignant; finally there is "the Golden Rule."

As a reference, it is laid out in the New testament: "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Romans 13:9

The reason why this is relevant is because the Leviticus admonishments against gay people fall into category I or II depending on how you translate the Bible. But the sin of denying somebody marriage when you accept it for yourself is a grievous violation of the highest level: the Golden Rule.

No self-respecting Christian can lie about "perversion", encourage others into adultery, turn others away from God, stoke teen suicides and deny equal rights to their neighbors, and then expect to uphold this Golden Rule thingie. And that is why any who argue this into public policy is morally bankrupt, and why those who understand that marriage and faith actually depend on acceptance of all God’s people fairly and equally, is the only argument that is Constitutional, American and Christian.

Sincerely,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Today's letter - Harvey Milk Day

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -


Equality California released their 2008 Legislative Scorecard today. I was disappointed to see that you vetoed AB 2567, Harvey Milk Day.

I saw the movie Milk just last week and it was astonishing how visionary this businessman was. He realized that intolerance was dividing the city and hurting business, and set out to do something about it. Not for himself, but for others. His visibility caused a whole generation to realize that America is about being different, and being free to be different.

This kind of selflessness should be rewarded with a special day of its own. I hope that you get another opportunity to sign Harvey Milk Day into law, and do just that.

Just like marriage equality, “you’ve got to give us hope.”


Sincerely,

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Today's letter - Housing Co-ownership

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -


Thank you for your veto on SB 153 Housing Co-Ownership, a bill that would have provided protection from Prop 13 property tax increases to surviving homeowners that are not domestic partnered or legally married. This is what marriage and Domestic Partnership is for, and those who want these rights need to accept the responsibility of marriage and Domestic Partnership.

I had to fight damn hard to get laws passed so that Prop 13 property tax increases would apply equally to me and my Domestic Partner as they do to married partners, and now that we are approaching equality in those separate institutions, I don’t want to go down the slippery slope of blessing people who are only willing to shack up on par with marriage and Domestic Partnership.

Thank you for doing the right thing on SB 153. I do want to mention that SB 153 would not have been even considered had you not vetoed AB 43 the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2007, a bill that would have stopped this dangerous slide at “marriage” by changing the label, not the laws.

I hope throughout the upcoming year that you work towards eliminating the need for these bills by supporting full marriage equality in the State of California.


Sincerely,

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