Archive for ‘federal’

April 29th, 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,

Share
June 2nd, 2008

Today’s letter – beyond California

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Now that it appears that we might finally have removed the barriers to the freedom to marry here in California, it is time to begin to turn our attention to letting Californians travel to other parts of the country and participate in the federal rights and responsibilities of marriage our state pays into and her citizens deserve.

The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is the short title of a federal law of the United States passed on September 21, 1996 as Public Law No. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419. Its provisions are codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7 and 28 U.S.C. § 1738C. The law has two effects:

1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.

2. The Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.

As you represent California to the rest of the country and the rest of the world, please don’t forget to ask, on behalf of the Citizens who support you, that other places extend the same dignity and respect to California’s citizens that California will always provide to them.

Sincerely,

Today’s stamp: “California Poppy,” representing California to the country and the world.

Share
June 1st, 2008

Today’s letter – happy pride!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Happy Gay Pride Month! June was declared Gay Pride Month by President Clinton in 2000, partially in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, and partially in reconciliation for the Defense of Marriage Act that he signed during his first term.

“With each passing year the American people become more receptive to diversity and more open to those who are different from themselves. Our Nation is at last realizing that gays and lesbians must no longer be “strangers among friends,” as the civil rights pioneer David Mixner once noted. Rather, we must finally recognize these Americans for what they are: our colleagues and neighbors, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, friends and partners.”

I look forward to a day when we don’t need to have a special month, but all Americans can just simply live as “colleagues and neighbors, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, friends and partners.” Please, Governor, continue your work to bring the Freedom to Marry to California as soon as possible, and to defeat the Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage so we can keep this victory over intolerance on our own soil.

Sincerely,

Today’s stamp: “Towards Diversity in our Schools” celebrating the 1947 decision making Americans more open to those who are different from themselves.

Share
March 29th, 2008

Today’s letter – I’m a lover, not a fighter

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As a foreign-born citizen, I’m sure you take an interest with how people come to this country.

On Friday, U.S. Marine Cpl. Mario Ramos-Villalta who earned a Purple Heart during one of his two tours serving with the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, finally received American citizenship barely a week after CNN told his story.

The same Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services routinely denies citizenship applications to the partners of gay Americans.

It really says something about America when we let in people who fight for us but not the people who love us. It’s kind of hard to say that we’re a peace-loving nation, isn’t it?

Yours,

Share
February 13th, 2008

Today’s letter – agents of intolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As a gay dad, I believe you are almost on the verge of having the change of heart that we need so I can finally get married. Your endorsement of John McCain was a really big step for two reasons.

First, Senator McCain shares my opinion of Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Pat Robertson and their ilk, saying “neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance.”

As you know, Sen. McCain’s “Agents of Intolerance” are the same as my “Opponents of Equality” – they’re the people who say, without having met me or knowing anything about me, that I’m not worthy of marriage just because of who I want to marry. So that’s a plus.

Second, Senator McCain believes that the Federal government should not make the most intimate decision of who can marry who. “The constitutional amendment [banning gay marriage] strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans, [because] it usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them.”

It is a short stretch for you, Governor, to realize that the State of California is no better than the Federal government at deciding who can marry who. To paraphrase Senator McCain, it usurps from individuals a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes it instead on a state remedy for a problem that most people do not believe confronts them.

So, Governor, I’m hoping that you get a chance to talk to Senator McCain about same-sex marriage, and I hope enough of his centrist rhetoric rubs off on you that you will finally realize that California would be a better place if we all had the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Share
January 1st, 2008

Today’s letter – Freedom Interrupted

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Tomorrow Oregon was set to allow same-sex couples to enter into a better-than-nothing civil union structure like California, New Hampshire, Vermont and some other states. More than 500 couples planned to take their vows on New Year’s Day.

Just two days ago, a federal judge overrode the state law, saying that the needs of these couples to make a commitment to each other should take a back seat to the bitter desire of a few to keep them apart. Now 528 couples are waiting in limbo while their relationships are put on trial.

Would you like it if your wedding was canceled with just three days notice, Governor? I’m guessing not. Please help swing the mood in California so that what happened in Oregon can’t happen here (again).

You don’t have to break the law to say that you believe committed couples should have the freedom to choose marriage. You just have to break your silence.

Yours,

Share
Tags:
December 4th, 2007

Today’s letter – Uruguay has more freedom than America

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I used to get excited when a new country announced recognition of same-sex couples. For example, Uruguay is about to provide equivalent social security, pension, inheritance, and parenting rights to both heterosexual and homosexual couples through a “civil union” structure. I used to see it as a tipping point in the way people saw – and treated – their lesbian and gay brethren.

But with Civil Unions or marriage available throughout almost forty countries representing every continent except Antarctica, I’m starting to instead see it as a countdown until the United States is the last country on earth that fails to allow her lesbian and gay citizens to fully participate in the economy and community.

How can we say America is the “land of the free” when people in Uruguay get social security, pension, inheritance, and parenting rights, while my partner of ten years and I become legal strangers as soon as we step out of our home state? Uruguay!!!!!!

It is truly a global embarrassment that you, Governor, tolerate the negative and divisive bullying tactics that the Campaign for Children and Families (CCF) and other opponents of equality are using to carve out and marginalize an entire group of people based on who they happen to love.

Change begins at home. The next year will be pivotal in the fight between the opponents of equality and fair-minded Californians. I need you to do more than stay silent: please support the freedom to marry so the United States might someday join the world community in treating all of her citizens with dignity and respect.

Yours,

Share
Tags: ,