Archive for ‘big brother’

May 20th, 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,

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April 23rd, 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,

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April 8th, 2009

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,

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May 11th, 2008

Today’s letter – Brothers and Sisters celebrate real relationships

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

On the season finale of the hit series Brothers and Sisters, a major character, Kevin, married his boyfriend Scotty in a high-profile (but not legally binding) ceremony.

Executive producer Monica Breen explains “Kevin deserves a stable relationship in the same way that Kitty, Sarah and all the others deserve it. He will be facing many questions in his life — but now he has someone to share that with.”

Hurrah.

Governor, all Californians deserve to have a stable relationship, and the only way that is possible is through access to the time-tested tradition of marriage. Please continue your support of the Constitution and its mantra, that no Californian should be specially excluded from our economy and society because of who they are or what they believe. Please support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

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February 19th, 2008

Today’s letter – don’t protect marriage, improve it

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Marriage sure has gone through a lot of changes in the past centuries.

A girl’s father used to decide who his daughter would marry. Then there were bans on interfaith and interracial marriages. Nowadays, almost everybody can choose who they marry – except for me. A special ban on same-sex couples takes away my right to choose who I marry and gives it to the government.

The only person who should be making the choice of who I marry is me.

Governor, it is time to stop “protecting” marriage, and start improving it.

Yours,

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February 15th, 2008

Today’s letter – Big Brother should not block love

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The latest installment of the CBS reality show Big Brother has a new twist. Eight couples are bonded together in the Big Brother house as “soul mates” based on personality matching performed before the show.

In addition to the standard “cute” couples, there are also an interracial couple, an intergenerational couple, an interfaith couple, and a same-sex couple.

All of these pairs are competing on equal footing, with one exception. If the “showmance” blossoms, all of these couples can get married except the same-sex couple.

Why would you take it upon yourself, Governor, to stand in the way of what anybody with the brains God gave geese knows? Love comes in many flavors, and it should be up to the people in the relationship – not Big Brother – to decide if they want to marry.

I wish you would support the freedom for all committed couples to make the commitment of marriage.

Yours,

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February 9th, 2008

Today’s letter – will the court hear from you too?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When the State Supreme Court hears the marriage exclusion case on March 4, they will face an unprecedented torrent of evidence that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage, and a historic outcry for full constitutional inclusion of same-sex couples in our economy and society.

In addition to the fifteen same-sex couples, support has come from such widespread sources as:
– counties and municipalities including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Long Beach, Sacramento, and Oakland.
– legal and bar associations, including the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
– religious and civil rights leaders and organizations, including the California NAACP, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, California Council of Churches, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and National Black Justice Coalition.

Will they hear from you?

Your support would mean a lot both to the court and my family. Tell them that California needs same-sex marriage and they need it now. It’s the least you can do to ensure the freedom of all Californians.

Yours,

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January 16th, 2008

Today’s letter – who TO marry, not who CAN marry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

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

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

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

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

Yours,

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