Archive for ‘tradition’

April 28th, 2008

Today’s letter – Traditional marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When President Gerald R. Ford was running for his first term in congress in 1948, he delayed his marriage to Elizabeth Warren until after the election because he was worried that voters would punish him for marrying a divorced woman.

That was “traditional marriage” back then: you got one try to get it right, and after that you were ‘defective’ and couldn’t even take communion at church.

Much has changed in fifty years. Now Tom Cruise can get married as many times as he wants to, and nobody bats an eye. Obviously “traditional marriage” is simply a social and economic construct that unites two people and their families according to their individual choice.

Governor, would you help bring “traditional marriage” back to the people, by allowing all of the people of California to marry the person that they want to?

If Gerald Ford can marry a divorced woman and be elected President, I should have the freedom to marry the person I love, whether they are a felon, foreigner, divorcee, widower, ugly, white, Catholic, Republican, or – in my case – male.

Yours,

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April 26th, 2008

Today’s letter – second marriages are immoral

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

We were watching Access Hollywood last night featuring the breakup of Star Jones and Al Reynolds. Their tumultuous relationship gave tabloids the opportunity to explore issues about why people get married, and a chance to speculate about the various motivations of love, money, friendship, children and sex.

What I thought was interesting though was when my domestic partner / fiancée noticed that banning same-sex couples from getting married is just as arbitrary as banning second marriages. Why don’t we ban second marriages?

We don’t ban second marriages – except in the Roman Catholic Church – because marriage is fundamental to uniting families inside a social and economic structure.

So why do we ban same-sex marriages? Is it because their marriages are somehow less fundamental to society and the economy? Or is it to marginalize and punish people for being different?

I think you know the answer to that one, Governor.

Yours,

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January 26th, 2008

Today’s letter – the video made me cry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m still haunted by the images in the Let California Ring commercial “Garden Wedding.” In this thirty second ad, church bells ring as a bride prepares for her big day. The door sticks, cars block her path to the wedding pavilion, low-hanging branches foil her veil, then on her way down the aisle when she just makes eye contact with her groom, somebody sticks out their foot and she trips and falls. The message covers the screen: “what if you couldn’t marry the person you love?”

As a gay dad in a Domestic Partnership, I feel like this bride in a nightmare: so close to the altar, yet constantly foiled from marrying the person I love by things completely out of my control. Like when you chose to veto AB 43, the bill that would have let me marry the person that I love. That was really mean.

Strong families and individual choice are the cornerstone of California’s economy and your political party. I just want the government to support my choice to form and keep strong families through marriage.

Yours,

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December 26th, 2007

Today’s letter – How do they know it’s Christmas without Family?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I hope you got everything you wanted for Christmas.

My Christmas was magical: my husband and I opened presents with our 9 ½ month old kids, including a book that we put together chronicling their first year on Earth. Our parents came over and we enjoyed each others company through a wonderful family dinner. Life has been bountiful, and we were blessed to be able to celebrate that together.

My Christmas bliss was disturbed by the recognition that so many people are celebrating without family. Children whose parents have disowned them because they are gay; parents who have lost children through gay-related suicide; marriages broken because they were formed for the wrong reasons; and even siblings who were turned away because they were unwilling to accept their kin for who they are.

I really don’t know how you can enjoy your holidays knowing that domestic apartheid will flourish as long as you advocate civil unions for some and marriage for others. Please start working now so by next Christmas we can all enjoy the gifts of liberty and freedom.

Yours,

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November 26th, 2007

Today’s letter – The Checkered Game of Life

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Milton Bradley created the Game of Life in 1860. The game has had many variations but has always included ‘marriage’ as a milestone signifying the addition of a member to the family and an occasion for ‘gifts’ from the other players.

While the game has no separate provision for “domestic partnership” it also has no restriction on the gender of the partners in the marriage. Players can choose for themselves to put in a pink or blue peg.

I don’t understand why something that was so simple to understand in 1860 is so difficult to comprehend today. I wish you, Governor, would end your support of special rights for some relationships and instead support the freedom to marry for all families. It is, after all, a milestone in the Game of Life.

Yours,

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November 21st, 2007

Today’s letter – Girlie-men Against Equality

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m pretty sick of these conservative whiners. We can’t do stem cell research, we can’t drink or gamble, we can’t give citizenship to immigrants, we can’t have sex out of wedlock, we can’t get married – or the terrorists will win, society will collapse, and the world will end.

Normally I just ignore people who pretend to speak for God, but when they use the Bible as a weapon and aim it at helpless innocents, I have to step up and say something.

We don’t know what God thinks of gay marriage, but I do know that my life would be profoundly better if I could wed. Not one person would be harmed in the process. The terrorists won’t win, society won’t collapse, and the world will go on – perhaps a little bit better without the whining from Girlie-men Against Equality.

Yours,

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November 18th, 2007

Today’s letter – Equal Freedom is the only Equality

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A friend asked me why I say “freedom to marry” instead of “marriage equality.” I believe that the answer could help you be a better Governor, and maybe someday, Senator.

You see, when you talk to focus groups and they hear “equality” they think of the rights that married couples get and how gay people either don’t deserve the same rights or can get them other ways. But anybody with the brains God gave geese knows that people don’t choose marriage because of the rights – they choose it because they want to.

By instead talking about freedom, people realize that whatever they believe about the rights and responsibilities of marriage, people should have the freedom to choose it for themselves; whatever they believe the bible says about homosexual relationships, people should have the freedom to exercise their own religious beliefs; whatever you believe the law says about gay marriage, a higher law says you shouldn’t interfere with the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

Equality talks about rights, but really the only right that matters is freedom. That you would deny some people equal rights is debatable; that you would deny them the freedom to make their own choices is reprehensible and anti-American.

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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