Archive for ‘economics’

May 18th, 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,
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April 16th, 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,

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April 7th, 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,

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June 11th, 2008

Today’s letter – governors Wallace and Schwarzenegger

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It was 1963 – just 45 years ago today – that Governor George Wallace stood in a campus doorway while attempting to exclude two black students from the University of Alabama.

Telling people that they’re too dumb to attend school, then standing in the doorway while they are trying to do it, is just stupid. Excluding even one person from fully participating in our economy and society hurts us all.

Now 45 years later, the same people who were opposed to racial integration are trying to block same-sex marriage. They say that homosexuals are not capable or worthy of forming long-term stable relationships, then slam the door on those who simply seek that stability. It’s the same argument, and it’s still stupid.

Every bone in my body knows that all of our fundamental freedoms depend on equal legal protections. It is un-American and un-Christian to stand in the way of people who are just trying to do the right thing.

I thank God that you aren’t the kind of governor George Wallace was, and that you’re willing to fight with us to change “separate but equal” into “equal,” even against the policy of your political party.

Sincerely,

Today’s stamp: “Toward equality in our schools” celebrating the Mendez v. Westminster decision to integrate our schools. That was 1947 – who argues for segregation now?

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February 21st, 2008

Today’s letter – tolerance is an economic necessity

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Business columnist Jay Hancock wrote in Wednesday’s Baltimore Sun that “Societies that are tolerant, free and diverse tend to be richer and happier than societies that aren’t.”

He points to a long-term public necessity to attract a young workforce that craves culture, tolerance, diversity and educational resources – and any sign of intolerance is anathema to this “high-tech nirvana.”

Economic theorist Richard Florida noted in The Rise of the Creative Class that “to some extent, homosexuality represents the last frontier of diversity in our society, and thus a place that welcomes the gay community welcomes all kinds of people,”

Governor, giving the people the freedom to make the individual decision of who they marry is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a necessary economic investment in California’s future. Please don’t just ‘protect’ marriage, but improve it, and improve our state along the way.

Yours,

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February 11th, 2008

Today’s letter – longer than the writers’ strike with more ill effects

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Hollywood writers strike showed us what damage is caused when a few key people are removed from an important industry.

While the studios can just go back to work, the special ban on gay marriage continues to prevent committed couples from contributing to the economy and society.

It is time to get California back to full strength by supporting strong families and individual choice. Please tell the Supreme Court that California immediately needs all of its citizens to have access to the time-tested legal structure that only marriage provides.

Yours,

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January 14th, 2008

Today’s letter – supporting evil is the same as doing evil

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As an example of how awful this battle over the freedom to marry has become, we fired our roofer today.

Well, we didn’t actually “fire” him, but here’s what happened. We had a leak in our roof. This guy from who was highly recommended came over to look at it, and later emailed us a quotation. His email led to his professional Web site, which listed “Victory Outreach Church of Eagle Rock” in his “community” section.

It took about ten seconds to discover that Valley Outreach is a notorious Texas-based Megachurch that not only operates reparation therapy facilities (where they beat the gay out of people) but also specifically endorses the Protect Marriage campaign to exterminate my family.

I did what anybody of conscience is obliged to do: I told this guy that I would retch if a fraction of a fraction of my money went to a place that has exchanged Jesus’ teachings for those of Pete Knight.

Our poor roofer guy was shocked and tried to defend his conscience by saying that he knows many gay people who are “his kindest friends.” I explained that if his ethics allows him to tell his kindest friends they are less worthy of marriage than Britney Spears, then he is not someone I want within a mile of my family, and chased him away.

Really, these are the people who can shoot an abortion doctor in the head without blinking an eye. They should be laughed out of any room they’re in. Yet they asked you to veto AB 43 and you complied.

I really wish you would put an end to this awful battle by telling the people of California that prejudice and hate is not acceptable. There is nothing wrong with gay marriage; there is everything wrong with denying it.

Yours,

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January 11th, 2008

Today’s letter – State of the State

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In your “State of the State” address last Tuesday, you asked legislators to work with you to tackle some of California’s most pressing challenges. While your list had many important items, I expected that your agenda would have been topped by the plight of over 100,000 Californians who are specially blocked from getting married. That’s 100,000 Californians who would like have the freedom to marry the person they love, but are specially excluded from participating our economy and society.

While we are still debating whether people have a right to health care or clean air, we are all in agreement that the people have a right to live free from discrimination based on their gender, religion or sexual orientation.

I wish you would assume leadership of this issue like you have on the budget, education, growth, health care and the environment, because of all of the great things you want to accomplish, there is nothing more important than ensuring that all Californians have the freedom to enjoy them.

Yours,

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