Archive for ‘state rights’

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,

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November 23rd, 2007

Today’s letter – Lincoln vs. Douglas

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Abraham Lincoln constantly ranks among the three top U.S. presidents. Before he became president, though, he spent a lot of time arguing against a guy named Stephen A. Douglas.

Senator Douglas believed that in a democracy the people should have the right to decide whether or not to allow slavery in their territory, rather than have such a decision imposed on them by Congress. Each state would decide if they were a “free” state or a “slave” state.

Lincoln said about the act, “I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it…enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites [and] causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because [it insists] that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.”

In his election bid for Senator, Lincoln identified the problem with giving states the right to discriminate: “‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.'(Mark 3:25) I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”

Lincoln won more popular votes, but Douglas won more seats and was elected to Congress.

Just so the metaphor is not lost on you, Governor, gay marriage is a battle just like slavery was 150 years ago. Whether through states rights or a Constitutional amendment, making some people more free than others only makes us all half-free. The only way to achieve freedom for all is to give all the freedom to marry.

That freedom must start at home. Please, make California a free state and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

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November 5th, 2007

Today’s letter – it was we the people, not heterosexual males, who formed the union

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It has been 135 years since Susan B. Anthony voted in the 1872 presidential election. She was arrested barely two weeks later because it was illegal at the time for women to vote.

In her defense, she argued that the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution said that all “persons” born in the US are citizens who can’t be denied the privileges of citizenship – then she pointed out if she were male, her behavior would have never been questioned.

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people – women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government: the ballot.”

It took almost fifty years, but Susan B. Anthony managed to “redefine” voting laws to end the exclusion of women.

When you vetoed the Religious Tolerance and Civil Marriage Protection Act you said it was because of Proposition 22, a voter initiative that did not change either the Constitution of this State or this Country. You said I should be happy to enjoy the blessings of Domestic Partnership, and blocked me from making the commitment of marriage just because of the gender of the person I love.

I respectfully ask you to join us in the spirit of Susan B. Anthony and help us to “redefine marriage” so that all committed couples can make the commitment of marriage.

Yours,

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September 17th, 2007

Today’s letter – Not every Church hates the gays

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I am so proud of the Episcopal Church. In 2003, to underscore its belief that biblical teachings of tolerance and acceptance are paramount, they consecrated an openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Now, the 2.2 million-member Episcopal Church may separate from the global Anglican community over the issue.

I am really touched that the Episcopal Church would risk so much for me when they don’t have to; I am thoroughly embarrassed that my Governor won’t lift a finger to protect me when it is arguably his Constitutional responsibility.

I think it is pathetic that you would use a seven-year-old law about states rights as an excuse to block my access to the same security and simplicity of marriage that you so blithely enjoy. Please sign AB 43 and show that you do in fact believe in the dignity and freedom of all Californians.

Sincerely,

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September 8th, 2007

Today’s letter – an ode to the freedom to marry

When you try to justify
your veto in the people’s eye
you will certainly try to say
the people wanted it this way.

That was seven years ago,
when the people didn’t even know
the law protecting their state’s rights
would be twisted to block Freedom’s flight.

Twisted to prevent families
like “those” from having rights like “these”
by the opponents of equality
for their political opportunity.

The legislature has finally asked
you to join them in getting passed
a bill to bring the same equality
to families like yours and families like mees.

Your argument perhaps may pass
to the unsuspecting mass
but you know what must be done
to bring freedom to everyone.

If you veto 43,
you’ll be costing you and me
sixteen billion it would appear
plus twenty-four million every year.

Professionals have unified to say
Marriage is the best and only way,
and all around the world they see
that full marriage is how freedom should be.

But most of all it means that my
partner and I won’t have to try
to access marriage in some other way,
we can get married and have it stay!

You say that Proposition twenty-two
defending marriage from God knows who
shows that the people want to say
“same-sex couples go away.”

But I believe the people know
it’s hatred that has to go
so please sign the bill you soon will see
and bring full freedom to you and me.

Yours truly,
and Sincerely,

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September 8th, 2007

Letter to The Los Angeles Times – California needs and wants AB 43

Dear Los Angeles Times –

I’m getting tired of hearing the Governor use a seven-year old referendum about foreign marriage to justify a modern-day apartheid.

The polls put marriage one point ahead of banning it (46% to 45%) about double George W. Bush’s approval. AB 43 passed the Senate with three more votes than last time through – legislators don’t vote this way without their constituents’ support. And Proposition 22 wasn’t even about marriage in California! “Two persons” language was changed to carve out same-sex couples from marriage by the legislature in 1977 and signed by current-Attorney General-then-Governor Jerry Brown. What the legislature broke, the legislature can fix – it has nothing to do with 22.

LGBT families have worked hard to tell the truth about themselves and their community. They deserve better than a Governor that uses lies about Proposition 22 to unilaterally legislate who they can love and who they can marry.

P.S. I have written a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger every day since July 12; I post them online at http://signab43.blogspot.com and read them on YouTube.

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September 7th, 2007

Today’s letter – tell the truth about Proposition 22

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As somebody who has read your various statements about gay marriage in California over the years, I believe that you would sign AB 43 (the bill ending the special exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage) if it was the will of the people. The problem is that you continue to use Proposition 22 as not only a gauge of will, but also as a legal excuse for vetoing this legislation.

We can disagree about the intent of voters when they passed Proposition 22, but the intent of the law was to block foreign marriages from becoming recognized in California.

It would seem from recent polling data and the behavior of the legislature that the people are not opposed to extending the freedom to marry to their fellow citizens.

It would make me really sad if you obstructed the will of the people based on a bad guess of their intentions. The people do not oppose freedom – please support them by signing AB 43.

Hopefully,

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August 13th, 2007

Today’s letter – States’ Rights

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

We passed Proposition 22 so we could make our own decisions about marriage.

It is time to exercise that right, and go where the Federal government won’t: when you get AB 43 , please sign it so same-sex couples can have all of the privileges of marriage – in fact and in name.

Sincerely,

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