Archive for ‘other places’

August 11th, 2010

Today’s letter – Senator Ted Stevens, RIP

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I just heard that former Republican Senator Ted Stevens died today in a plane crash. I hope you get a moment to remember the achievements of this long-time politician.

  • He had a zero rating with the Human Rights Campaign.
  • He voted against adding sexual orientation to the definition of “hate crime” in 2001.
  • He opposed the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA).
  • He voted in favor of the hateful “Federal Marriage Act” in both 2004 and 2006.
  • He opposed the Mathew Sheppard act.
  • He had a 14% rating on supporting minorities through affirmative action.

It seems that the Big Tent party got a little smaller today.

Sincerely,

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June 24th, 2010

Dear Governor Lingle – Hawaii needs Civil Unions; the least you can do is sign HB 444

Governor Linda Lingle
State Capitol, Room 415
Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813

RE: House Bill 444

Dear Governor Lingle:

I’m a gay dad who is trying to be the best husband and father that I can. I am extremely fortunate to live in a state that has had civil unions for over a decade. This simple policy of “equality” helped us thrive and build a family without having to fear the heavy hand of Government meddling with our lives and livelihoods. It is easy to forget that some of my fellow Americans have to live in places where their relationships are legally less important than others, simply and only because of who they choose to love.

I just don’t understand why this is a difficult decision for you. You said that you are concerned about “the intensity of the feeling on the part of the public,” but that doesn’t make any sense. HB 444 would not have reached your desk, especially in an election year, without the people of Hawai’i behind it.

Plus, there is no downside to the bill. Civil unions have been around for years, and have always wound up being a positive experience for everybody. No place that has had them is even considering getting rid of them. All it does is level the playing field for all your citizens.

If the people are actually confused on this issue, you have an opportunity to lead them. Your fellow Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed over 50 LGBT equality bills into law – talk to him. Republican mayor Jerry Sanders said that he supports equality because he “could just not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community they were less important, less worthy or less deserving … than anyone else simply because of their sexual orientation.” The former Vice President, Republican Dick Cheney said “I think that ‘freedom’ means freedom for everyone.” Former Republican President Abraham Lincoln said “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

Equality is a traditional value and deserves to be fostered, not vetoed. Please support HB 444.

Thank you,

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April 27th, 2009

Today’s letter – Iowa stubbornness or sensibility?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I could not let today pass without mentioning that the first same-sex marriages are taking place in Iowa!

Up until this decision, all I knew about Iowa I learned from The Music Man: “We’re so dog-gone stubborn we can stand and touch our noses for a week at a time and never see eye to eye. But what the heck, you’re welcome, join us at the picnic. (You can have your share of all the food you bring yourself.)”

I know how happy I was when I got married in California after 11 years as “domestic partners” – June 17, 2008. I hear stories from Massachusetts about how marriage liberated couple after couple in ways that domestic partnership did not, simply because people understand “marriage.” I remember the hurt when marriages were stopped in California, when the people of California said “no, you’re not welcome even to a share of the food you bring yourself.” And I remember the joy when New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa joined Massachusetts in saying “freedom means freedom for everybody.”

I would have expected to be run out of Iowa on rails like Professor Harold Hill, but never out of California. I guess things have changed in the 21st century.

Sincerely,

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April 5th, 2009

Today’s letter – Court after Court

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Court after court after court have declared that denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. From Hawaii in 1993, to Iowa in 2009, the courts have all said that “freedom means freedom for everybody.”

The Opponents of Equality have been busy changing our Constitutions so that some are more worthy of civil marriage than others.

This is wrong. It is sad and pathetic to lose the principles Americans value most – that all of us are created equal, with equal opportunity to life, liberty and happiness.

I wish you would do more to oppose this tyranny and explain to the people of California that it is wrong to treat others as you would not like to be treated yourself.

Sincerely,

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April 3rd, 2009

Today’s letter – Iowa has more freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In 1839 Iowa rejected slavery. In 1868, racially segregated “separate but equal” schools were rejected, and in 1869, Iowa admitted women to the practice of law. Then for a century, Iowa stood still while places like California lead the way on religious freedom and civil equality.

That spell was broken today when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that the state’s law forbidding same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

In contrast, California led the charge into the 21st century in the palms of the Opponents of Equality, with two vetos and a ballot initiative creating “separate but equal” institutions for domestic relationships.

I wish you had taken a more active role in protecting California’s legacy as a place where every citizen could be treated with dignity and respect. Instead you did nothing while the Constitutional protection of the minority was trampled by the tyranny of the majority.

Now Californians will have to go to Iowa to get married, instead of Disneyland. Thanks, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sincerely,

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June 3rd, 2008

Today’s letter – what is up with Oklahoma?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

What is up with Oklahoma? As individual politicians incite what can only be described as xenophobia, guardians of equality remain silent.

Seventeen House Republicans refused to accept a goodwill copy of the Quran from the Ethnic American Advisory Council, based on the (incorrect) assumption that “Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology.” The political fallout? None.

One law, HB1804, makes it illegal to provide education or health care to undocumented immigrants, including infants; requires police to check the immigration status of anyone “suspected” of being in this country illegally; makes it a felony to give an illegal immigrant a ride; forbids the issuance of birth certificates to a child if one parent was an illegal alien; and confiscates the property of anyone caught violating HB1804. There was not even a rally against this one – supporters are cowering in legitimate fear.

Then to ice the cake, Republican Rep. Sally Kern focused on gays and lesbians, calling them more of a threat “than terrorism or Islam,” and calling them – us – a “cancer.”

Kern did not apologize – she instead got a standing ovation shortly after her comments were made public. Kern explained “I told the people when I was running for this office that I was a Christian candidate and that I believed we were in a cultural war for the very existence of our Judeo-Christian values.” Values that killed Matt Shepherd. Nice values.

I am so happy to work and live in California, where all of our citizens are welcomed to fully participate in our economy and society. Thank you, Governor, for making and keeping it that way.

Sincerely,

Today’s stamp: “Oklahoma” plus a three-cent “USA” makeup stamp.

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May 30th, 2008

Today’s letter – Germany’s apology

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

“Germany wants to honor the persecuted and murdered victims, to keep alive the memory of the injustice they suffered,” and provide “a lasting symbol against intolerance and hostility towards gays and lesbians and against their alienation.” Those words (or in German, probably one really long word) are on a plaque on a new monument in Berlin.

Nazi Germany’s campaign against homosexuals began in 1933 and by 1945 more than 50,000 men were convicted and separated from their liberty and property. It is estimated that between 5,000 and 15,000 of them were sent to concentration camps. Gay men (and those perceived to be gay) were forced to wear pink triangles and were sometimes used as medical guinea pigs.

Unlike other groups of Nazi victims, the persecution of the gay community continued under the same law, with more than 50,000 convictions before a 2002 government pardoned them and finally abolished the legislation.

Here in America, we like to think that we are better than the Third Reich, yet in 2008 we still convicting our own citizens of being gay, forcing them to wear “domestic partnerships” and separating them from the financial and social stability that only the time-tested law of marriage can provide.

It is urgent that this ostracism, bullying and unequal treatment end. Please continue to support the freedom to marry and the downfall of the Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage.

Yours,

Today’s stamp: Wolverine from X-Men. Little is known of Wolverine’s past, but we do know “those who forget their past are doomed to relive it.” Wolverine uses his skills to help protect a world that hates and fears mutants like himself.

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May 14th, 2008

Today’s letter – it’s a small world

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

With the recent disasters in Myanmar and Sichuan province, we are reminded that we are a large and diverse world.

The traditional, conservative South Pacific island paradise of Tahiti has a social custom that we might think is strange: parents will raise their eldest son as a girl. This is a great honor for both the parents and the child, because the “Mahu,” as they are called, have the most enviable characteristics of both the male and female.

“I am proud of being a Mahu because in Polynesia we belong and we are recognized in this society,” says Coco, a Mahu. “We belong in everyday life.”

Who has the authority to decide if and whom these people should marry in California? Is it you, Governor? Is it society? Or should it be the people who want to get married?

In California, you have made it your job to decide who can marry whom. Now that is a weird custom.

Yours,

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