Archive for ‘annulled’

May 27th, 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,

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April 26th, 2008

Today’s letter – second marriages are immoral

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

We were watching Access Hollywood last night featuring the breakup of Star Jones and Al Reynolds. Their tumultuous relationship gave tabloids the opportunity to explore issues about why people get married, and a chance to speculate about the various motivations of love, money, friendship, children and sex.

What I thought was interesting though was when my domestic partner / fiancée noticed that banning same-sex couples from getting married is just as arbitrary as banning second marriages. Why don’t we ban second marriages?

We don’t ban second marriages – except in the Roman Catholic Church – because marriage is fundamental to uniting families inside a social and economic structure.

So why do we ban same-sex marriages? Is it because their marriages are somehow less fundamental to society and the economy? Or is it to marginalize and punish people for being different?

I think you know the answer to that one, Governor.

Yours,

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February 10th, 2008

Today’s letter – get us off this four-year see-saw

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

My fiancée and I are trapped in the California legal system. In early 2004, we got married; in late 2004, our marriage was annulled. In 2005 a trial judge said we could get married; in 2006 an appeals court said we couldn’t. Now finally in 2008 the State Supreme Court will hear and judge on whether our Constitution lets a mere eight-year-old voter initiative carve out a whole group of people and specially remove their freedom to marry.

I don’t understand why it takes four years to figure out if a voter initiative beats out the State Constitution. It seems to me this should be pretty clear. In the meantime, the Opponents of Equality have been trying again and again to pass a Constitutional Amendment to permanently exclude me and my fiancée from our economy and society.

Governor, help us get us off this see-saw! As a defendant in this case, please tell the California Supreme Court that all Californians need the freedom to marry, and they need it NOW. My husband and I are tired of waiting.

Yours,

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February 9th, 2008

Today’s letter – protest pending

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

This Valentines Day, it will have been four years since my husband and I were married in San Francisco. Because our union was rudely annulled by your administration, and subsequent legislative efforts were blocked by your veto, I will be marking the occasion by joining other fair-minded Californians at my county courthouse begging you for the privilege to get married again.

We have come so far: my finance and I have been together for almost eleven years; we have been domestic partnered for eight; we have two wonderful children and a pretty nice life.

You might ask why I need to spend my anniversary asking for the freedom to marry – again? All I can ask you to do is to think back to your wedding and tell me how you would feel if that was made illegal. If some government authority stepped in and said your vows were meaningless, your relationship second-rate and your legal filings null and void.

No matter what you think about gay marriage, all Americans are entitled to the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. And that includes the freedom to marry the person they love.

It is important to me, and to my fellow countrymen that no government takes away that freedom. It would be wrong to do anything on the day that stands for love to stand up for love.

Yours,

CC: one of the marriage licenses that you annulled

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February 7th, 2008

Today’s letter – my marriage restored my faith that government works

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Next week, on February 14, it will have been four years since my husband and I were married in San Francisco.

Two days before, two friend of ours from Washington D.C. – who are now godparents of our children – pointed out that the marriages in San Francisco might not continue for long. We decided to seize the opportunity and elope.

The morning of Valentine’s Day we hopped on a Southwest flight and emerged from the BART to find that love had erupted. Not Ted Haggard / Larry Craig kind of love, but couple after couple who had been waiting together for years for this day. We were herded through City Hall and got to say our vows to each other in the atrium. Even I was unable to hold back tears as I promised my best friend and lover that I would be his “until death do us part” and we were declared “spouses for life.”

We had time to have a romantic dinner in Fisherman’s Wharf before catching our flight out of Oakland back to L.A.

That day was important for us because it really solidified what we meant to each other, and had a piece of paper to prove it. My husband’s parents had always treated us as a couple, and were quite upset that they hadn’t been invited to the wedding. For my parents it was more significant – from that point on, my parents also treated us as spouses for life.

Most of all, it restored my faith in my government, that we could overcome our divisions and really behave according to our beliefs: that no matter what you think about gay marriage, all Americans are entitled to the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. And that includes the freedom to marry the person they love.

Yours,

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January 26th, 2008

Today’s letter – the video made me cry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

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

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

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

Yours,

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January 13th, 2008

Today’s letter – Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

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

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

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

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

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

Yours,

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

Public Officials to be Banned from Marriage

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

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

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October 8th, 2007

Today’s letter – be wary of mindless "defense of marriage"

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

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

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

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

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

Yours,

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