Archive for ‘state rights’

September 10th, 2009

Today’s letter – Sign SB 572 to Stop Teen Suicides

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As a gay dad in California I have a vested interest in SB 572 Harvey Milk Day.

Since you vetoed it last year, four important things have changed. And it’s a mixed bag, but bear with me.

  • The California Supreme Court observed that homosexuals are a protected class in California, no different from every other group that has been systematically oppressed. And a narrow majority of voters have alleged otherwise.
  • Harvey Milk was the subject of an Academy Award winning movie.
  • Harvey Milk was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • About 2,520 California teens have killed themselves because they are gay.

This last point is why SB 572 is so important. Only Harvey Milk Day will ensure that our children are taught the important lesson of hope that they need to survive.

I know that you and your wife Maria are inducting this Time Magazine 100 Heroes and Icons of the 20th Century into the California Museum; I also know that opposition to Harvey Milk Day comes from the oppressors we still have lingering around, literally killing our kids.

We don’t need somebody stuffed into a museum, we need a living lesson of hope and a clear message that the acts that killed Matthew Shepherd, Trevor and Harvey Milk are not tolerated in California. I hope you do the right thing for our children and SIGN SB 572.

Sincerely,

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June 7th, 2009

Today’s letter – Dick Cheny is right about freedom, but wrong about having the states meter it out

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Your Republican friend Dick Cheney said during an appearance at the National Press Club that “people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish.”

He also said he does not support federal action allowing gay marriages. “Historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level,” Cheney said. “It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis.”

Governor, I wish you would take Mr. Cheney’s comments one step further to their obvious conclusion: marriage should not be regulated on the federal level, OR on the state level. It should be at the individual level.

The only people who should be able to decide if they should get married are the people who are involved. Individual choices of adults are not the business of the government, whether it is federal, state or local.

Anything less than that equal freedom for everybody is a violation of what it means to be American, Christian and Republican.

Sincerely,

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May 8th, 2009

Today’s letter – Maine is now a Free State

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Maine Governor John Baldacci signed a bill yesterday ending the state’s special exclusion of same-sex couples from their society and economy, stating simply:

I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.

I hope you get a chance to congratulate your fellow Governor Baldacci for this courageous and righteous act.

Sincerely,

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April 30th, 2008

Today’s letter – the cream of the crop

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A comprehensive survey of Gay America was released today, with important implications to California.

The researchers at Hunter College, Rutgers and New York University confirmed that gay Americans are considerably more involved in public life than heterosexual Americans, by volunteering more, writing more letters to newspapers and political officials, attending more protests and rallies, and being roughly twice as likely to vote.

Older generation homosexuals prioritized laws against bias crimes and workplace discrimination, and emphasized “freedom from discrimination,” while younger homosexuals placed access to marriage and adoption rights as their highest priorities, and valued “the freedom to live their lives” in similar fashion to heterosexual Americans.

Only about three percent of Americans older than 18 identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual, but the community is concentrated in states that provide them with rights and protections: one in three lives in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont or Washington.

One conclusion that you could make, Governor, is that if the proposed initiative to ban same-sex couples passes this November, California will lose some of its most active citizens as we migrate to places that are welcoming.

Another is that a Republican party that insists on banning freedoms like adoption and marriage will have difficulty attracting younger participants.

Finally, you might realize 3% of the population is not going to destroy marriage, while building and maintaining two systems of laws that depend on gender for just 3% of the population is not only morally offensive, but also expensive and short-sighted.

Yours,

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April 20th, 2008

Today’s letter – a humane and reasonable stance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Syndicated columnist Deb Price, based in my home town of Detroit, Michigan, wrote in her most recent column that “California’s governor has taken a humane and reasonable stance on gay marriage. John McCain should pay attention.”

She points out that your statement “I will always be there to fight against that – because it should never happen” echoes another Republican, Ronald Reagan, who torpedoed the 1978 Briggs initiative that would have banned gay and gay-friendly teachers. Clearly, smart politicians like you and Mr. Reagan, choose to wisely unite rather than recklessly divide.

I wish you explain to your pal John McCain how welcoming California’s gay and lesbian families into marriage (and the Republican party) is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

Yours,

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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,

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February 6th, 2008

Today’s letter – Super Tuesday defeats opponents of equality

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Looking at the fallout from Super Tuesday, it appears that every candidate who would support a Federal ban on gay marriage has been effectively eliminated. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney were the strongest opponents of equality – and took the most dramatic falls, Apparently not even the Republicans want to associate with somebody who still believes that we should punish Americans based on the most personal decision they can make: who they love.

The People have won the right to decide for themselves whether they want to reward or punish commitments. Now it is your turn, Governor, to lead California into rewarding committed couples with the freedom to choose marriage.

Please tell the Supreme Court and the People of California that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage.

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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