Posts tagged ‘First Lady Maria Shriver’

June 4th, 2008

Today’s letter – a modern dividing line


Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Mason-Dixon line was used to separate slave states from free states. We have managed to divide our country once again, this time with the battle lines that limit marriage.

Ten states – not even our neighbors – are asking California’s Supreme Court not to lift the special ban on same-sex marriages.

The Opponents of Equality are arguing that they might have to recognize our marriages in their own states, in case the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and their own states’ Constitutional Amendments are somehow struck down.

While these states may or may not have the right to exclude their fellow Americans from fully participating in their economy and society, that is up to them. Trying to punish Californians for their bigoted intolerance is reprehensible.

What is particularly sad is that they don’t even want to block California marriages altogether – they just want them to go away until November, when a Constitutional Amendment (that has not even qualified for the ballot) might stop them.

Please, Governor, join your Attorney General Jerry Brown in opposing these unfortunate attempts to second guess the California Supreme Court and undermine basic human rights in your state.

Sincerely,

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February 9th, 2008

Today’s letter – protest pending

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

This Valentines Day, it will have been four years since my husband and I were married in San Francisco. Because our union was rudely annulled by your administration, and subsequent legislative efforts were blocked by your veto, I will be marking the occasion by joining other fair-minded Californians at my county courthouse begging you for the privilege to get married again.

We have come so far: my finance and I have been together for almost eleven years; we have been domestic partnered for eight; we have two wonderful children and a pretty nice life.

You might ask why I need to spend my anniversary asking for the freedom to marry – again? All I can ask you to do is to think back to your wedding and tell me how you would feel if that was made illegal. If some government authority stepped in and said your vows were meaningless, your relationship second-rate and your legal filings null and void.

No matter what you think about gay marriage, all Americans are entitled to the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. And that includes the freedom to marry the person they love.

It is important to me, and to my fellow countrymen that no government takes away that freedom. It would be wrong to do anything on the day that stands for love to stand up for love.

Yours,

CC: one of the marriage licenses that you annulled

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December 3rd, 2007

Today’s letter – Silently tolerating nonsense

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I like you because you’re a non-nonsense kind of guy. You drive a hummer and smoke cigars regardless of what people say. And just as effectively as you enjoy your own freedoms, you usually defend those of Californians. I would have even voted for you – except for one strange thing: you consistently and mysteriously block same-sex couples from having the freedom to marry.

There were many occasions when you could have stepped up and said something in support of this freedom. Way back when Proposition 22 was just a gleam in Pete Knight’s eye, you could have said “people should be able to do what they want” in the context of gay marriage instead of gay sex. When I was married in San Francisco in 2004 you could have said “we ought to change things so these people can get married legally” instead of just smacking down with the law. When the people and legislature asked you to sign AB 849 in 2005 and AB 43 in 2007, you could have said “I regret having to veto the bill.” Instead you gleefully sent it – and my freedom – back to ground zero.

Thousands of same-sex couples are just trying to make the same commitment of marriage you and Maria were free to make. Why do you tolerate the nonsense of domestic apartheid? Why do you stand silent while freedoms are being trampled?

I really expected more from you.

Yours,

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December 2nd, 2007

Today’s letter – Sons, daughters and legacy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Like you, I’m a dad who wants the best for his kids – both now, and in their adult lives. While my kids are no less likely to be gay because they have gay parents, the well-publicized research of Psychologist Anthony Bogaert indicates that your son Christopher is twice as likely to be gay as your son Patrick. As a public figure, do you plan to let your childrens’ private sexual orientation affect your public decision making?

I have written before about Dick Cheney who said that he believes “Freedom means Freedom for Everybody,” and Mayor Jerry Sanders who said he cannot tell people they are “less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage than anyone else simply because of their sexual orientation.”

Critics have said that both Mr. Sanders and Mr. Cheney let their personal lives influence their decision-making because they have children who are gay. But to see what happens when public figures make decisions in spite of their family, look no further than your late friends Representative Sonny Bono and State Senator Pete Knight.

Despite co-authorship of DOMA from one and the notorious Proposition 22 from the other, their children are just as gay as the Cheney’s. Mr. Knight’s son even married his love Joe Lazzaro in San Francisco – a marriage later annulled by his own father’s law. These kids are living full lives, yet not able to participate fully in our economy and community because of who they love and their fathers’ legacy.

Nothing any of these men said would have stopped their kids from becoming who they are. But on the way two of these men did things to make the world better for their kids, and two worked to make it worse. Yes, perhaps Mr. Sanders and Mr. Cheney let their decisions be influenced by their personal lives instead of political directives, but the world is better for it.

I want my kids to have the freedom to marry the person that they like and love – regardless of their religion, race or gender. I would hope you would want the same. I invite you to speak out about how important it is for our kids to have the freedom to marry regardless of their sexual orientation. Who knows? It might be in your personal best interest too.

Yours,

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November 25th, 2007

Today’s letter – In-laws are people too

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m sorry to hear that your mother-in-law, Eunice Schriver, is in the hospital.

I wish I could have a mother-in-law. The woman who fills that role is just as vibrant, just as delightful and just as much of a person as Eunice – but because of the ban on gay marriage that you support, she can’t be my mother-in-law.

I wish the best for Eunice and your family during this difficult time, and encourage you to relish this relationship that only the special right of marriage can provide.

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 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 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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