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,

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