Archive for July, 2007

July 31st, 2007

Today’s letter – A Long Shot

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I am writing to you to ask you to sign AB 43, even though I know you never will.

I need to know that you have heard from people like me who are directly afflicted; that emboldening the Opponents of Equality will cause more government-sanctioned discrimination; and that showing a lack of leadership on this issue will look pretty silly when California eventually ends domestic apartheid. Your domestic apartheid.

I fully understand that you want to “let the people decide,” and you will undoubtedly veto this bill. I just want you to know who you’re throwing under the bus when you do.

Sincerely,

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July 30th, 2007

Today’s letter – Happy Birthday!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Happy 60th Birthday!

You will soon be given the opportunity to stop discrimination in this state by signing AB 43 and supporting marriage equality. Please take it. The people will forever applaud your leadership.

Best wishes for many more,

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July 28th, 2007

Today’s letter – Thank you for Writing

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I received an unsigned letter from your Office of Constituent Affairs dated July 23, 2007, thanking me for my letter regarding AB 43. The letter states “Governor Schwarzenegger does not generally take a position on legislation until a bill has reached his desk.”

On February 16 you told a YMCA Youth and Government conference “I wouldn’t sign [AB 43] because the people of California have voted on that issue.”

In a March 13 article in The San Jose Mercury News (“Schwarzenegger’s Support for Gay Rights Only Goes So Far”) your communications director, Adam Mendelsohn, presented a very sophisticated explanation of your position on AB 43, along with a promise that you would veto it.

The National Association of Evangelicals of Northern California (“NAENORCAL”) writes “This is a great victory for evangelicals. Thank you for writing the governor and asking for a veto. Apparently this bill is now dead on arrival!”

What I want to know is why you seem to read and act on letters from NAENORCAL and other Opponents of Equality, yet toss me and my family off with a form letter featuring what seems like a lie?

You have a unique platform to lead on this issue, and – like me – the people of California deserve more than lip service on this issue.

Yours,

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July 28th, 2007

The Governor Responds – Thank you for writing

I got the first response from the Governor’s office today. It was on fancy stationery but they got my address wrong and it wasn’t signed – just a blank spot.

I assume this first thank-you was in response to my first letter, where I reference the February statement the Governor made about his plans to veto AB 43.

July 23, 2007

Dear Mr. Smith,

Thank you for writing to Governor Schwarzenegger regarding AB 43. The Governor appreciate you voicing your opinions on proposed legislation affecting our state.

Governor Schwarzenegger does not generally take a position on legislation until a bill has reached his desk, because it can change significantly from the time it is introduced to the time it is finalized. For the current session, the California Legislature has until September 14, 2007, to pass legislation and the Governor has until Octoboer 14, 2007, to sign or veto proposed bills.

You may continue to follow this and any other bill under consideration by lawmakers at the Official California Legislative WEbsite: www.leginfo.ca.gov. You may also read any legislative messages from the Governor at his website: www.governor.ca.gov.

Again, the Governor appreciates your interest in California’s future. An informed and engaged citizenry is important to effective government in our state.

Sincerely,

Office of Constituent Affairs

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July 27th, 2007

Today’s letter – Upgrading Domestic Partnerships

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

We’ve had AB 205, the Domestic Partnership law, here in California for long enough to know that it’s time to upgrade to proper marriage.

Case in point: Vermont has had Domestic Partnership since 2000. Legislators there are starting to say that it is time for a change – to marriage.

Just this week (with elections looming), Vermont House Speaker Gaye Symington said “I think for many Vermonters the question has been when, not so much as whether, we would eventually recognize same-sex union through marriage,” and Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin said, “I think now most Vermonters would acknowledge [Civil Unions] haven’t impacted their families in any way, shape or form.”

A January 2006 poll in Vermont found 53 percent of respondents favored replacing the “civil unions” with marriage. And that was eighteen months ago!

I’m tired of being behind the curve on civil liberty. I wish we had marriage parity in California like they have in Massachusetts, Canada and Spain – and soon perhaps Vermont. Please sign AB 43 and tell the people to say no to discrimination.

Yours,

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July 26th, 2007

Today’s letter – hate kills

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Opponents of AB 43 say that hating gay people is necessary to keep their kids from becoming gay. Apparently the terror of having the snot beaten out of them will discourage lusty thoughts.

We know the statistics: homophobia causes the teen suicide rate to be four times higher. 50% of gay teens suffer verbal or physical abuse at home. More than 16% of hate crimes are committed against gays. Hate is not a ‘deterrent to gayness.’ Rather it is hate, terror and murder.

The ban on gay marriage is pretty basic homophobia. Please sign AB 43 and support gay marriage so when they decide this issue, the people will have a leader who says “NO” to hate.

Truly,

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July 25th, 2007

Today’s letter – Marriage makes Cents

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I just read again today about how much it costs California to ban gays from marriage. There is the $16 Billion windfall in tourism and commerce, then an ongoing $24 Million each year by closing access to means-tested public benefits.

Granted, the numbers are a bit old: the $16 Billion is from a 2004 Forbes study and a lot of that windfall has already gone to Canada and Massachusetts; the $24 Million annual savings is from a pair of co-authored projects by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law and IGLSS also in 2004. But they have been backed up again and again, because they just make sense.

As a Republican governor, it is your duty to sign AB 43 and promote fiscal responsibility in our state by advocating marriage equality.

Many thanks,

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July 24th, 2007

Today’s letter – Alimony case shows two systems for marriage are irrational

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m writing to you today about the attached CNN article describing how Orange County resident Ron Garber must continue to pay alimony even though his ex-wife has entered a new legal relationship. The judge ruled that her domestic partnership is merely “cohabitation,” so Mr. Garber must continue to pay $1250 a month.

Mr. Garber now understands how confusing and unfair it is to have two sets of laws governing relationships in this state. As Governor, you have an opportunity to eliminate this apartheid and reduce the size of government at the same time.

Could you please consider signing AB 43 in order to send a highly visible message that what looks like marriage and quacks like marriage ought to be called marriage?

Many thanks in advance,

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