Archive for ‘the legislature’

May 23rd, 2009

Today’s letter – what causes a change of heart over same-sex marriage? Civil Unions!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The New York State Assembly voted on a same-sex marriage bill in 2007 and again in 2009. There were five Members who voted no in 2007 but yes in 2009. What motivated these five people to change their vote?

Their stories seem to fall into two camps. Sandy Galef, a Democrat from Westchester, Tim Gordon, an Independence member from Albany, and Fred Thiele, a Republican from Suffolk County, all changed their votes because of their concerns about civil unions. Assemblymember Thiele said “I thought equal rights could be guaranteed through civil unions… only to find that discrimination persisted in health care and other areas. The only way to ensure equality is by giving all couples access [to marriage.]”

The other two Members, Bob Reilly, a Democrat from Albany/Saratoga and Janet Duprey, a Republican from the Northeast, claim their change of vote sprang from personal conversations they had with constituents. They learned that gay men and women are no different than heterosexual men and women, and want the same things for themselves and their children. Assemblymember Duprey concluded that “United States was founded on the principle of equal protection and rights for all, and I will cast my vote for the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.”

It is frustrating to have to wait for Californians to realize what these New York lawmakers have: that denying gay marriage is un-American and un-Christian. I wish you would be more vocal, Governor, about what made you change your mind, and bring some more of the people along with you.

Sincerely,

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April 7th, 2009

Today’s letter – California’s history, usurped

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today is an historic day. It marks the first time that a state has eliminated a ban on same-sex marriage without being compelled to do so by the courts.

But in keeping with other traditions, it was a Republican governor who vetoed the legislation.

I would like to ask you for an explanation of what you were honestly thinking when you chose to oppose equality, something that I can tell my kids to explain why well-intentioned people seem to do cruel things. Maybe you could ask Governor Douglas for some help. Why would an American deny freedom to another; why would a Republican meddle in individual personal relationships; why would a Christian go against the teachings of his Church, and treat others as he would not like to be treated himself?

It’s the little things like this that remind us which party stands for getting government out of people’s lives, lower taxes and family values, and which party is – still – opposed to equality.

Sincerely,

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December 29th, 2007

Today’s letter – stranger things have happened

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When people tell me that Lesbian and Gay couples will never get married in California, I tell them that “never is a long time.”

Who would have thought that two gay men could have children? Who knew that there would be gay marriages in Spain? Never did we think Larry Craig would be gay and Richard Simmons would be straight – or that the California legislature would pass a gay marriage all the way to the Governor’s desk. Who could have imagined that that we would have an openly gay bishop confirmed by a major religion – or that we would have a major Presidential candidate from a church that believes in gay marriage?

If we want all Californians to be able to fully participate in our economy and society, we need you, Governor, to tell Californians that everybody deserves the freedom to marry. That could never happen – but stranger things have.

Yours,

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October 1st, 2007

Today’s letter – 254 signatures and 10 vetos

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

So far this year you have signed 254 bills into law, and vetoed just 10. I am pleased that you agree with the legislature on so many things.

I hope you also agree that all California couples deserve the same freedom to marry that you and Maria enjoy, and that you sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

Who can disagree about freedom?

Sincerely,

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September 13th, 2007

Today’s letter – where we want to be

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The people, through their legislature, have asked you for a second time to sign AB 43 supporting the freedom to marry. I wish you would.

Whatever happens with marriage this year will face a petition initiative in 2008. Your support will help a critical number of people say no to discrimination at the polls.

Freedom to marry is important to me and my family. Please sign it AB 43 to put us in a better position in 2008.

Sincerely,

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September 12th, 2007

Today’s letter – Extraordinary behavior in the People’s branch of government

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I don’t know if your realize how extraordinary it is for California to ask for same-sex couples to have the freedom to marry through the legislative branch of government.

From Hawaii to Iowa, state after state has ordered marriage equality through the judicial branch. Yet California’s legislature voted for marriage equality, was reelected by the people, and voted for it again.

Please don’t stand in the way of the People’s branch of government. Please sign AB 43 and let committed same-sex couples have the same access to the security of marriage that you and Maria enjoy.

Yours truly,

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September 10th, 2007

Today’s letter – The rebirth of the GOP begins with freedom to marry

As somebody who stopped voting for Republicans because of their moral hypocrisies, I was really refreshed by your statements at the State Party Convention.

You said that “If our party doesn’t address the needs of the people … the voters … will look elsewhere for their political affiliation.”

The legislature keeps asking you to support same-sex marriage, and they keep getting reelected. Perhaps you should sign AB 43 and show that the GOP listens to the needs of the people?

I would vote for that kind of GOP.

Sincerely,

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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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