Posts tagged ‘Proposition 22’

January 12th, 2009

Today’s letter – Countdown to Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The most powerful arguments used to justify a ban on same-sex marriages are the results of the voter initiatives in March of 2000 and November of 2008. But those arguments will expire soon.

Proposition 22 won by 11.4% but Proposition 8 only won by 2.3%. By my calculations, between those elections more than 400 voters a day changed their minds about same-sex marriage. At that rate, the margin will be zero on January 11, 2011 – exactly two years from today.

California’s legislature, judiciary and Constitution all support same-sex marriage. Finally, on January 11, 2011, the people will support same-sex marriage too. I hope you continue to help the people of California to understand that there is nothing wrong with same-sex marriage, and everything wrong in opposing it.

Sincerely,

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June 6th, 2008

Today’s letter – hate lost, now it’s time to do good

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As you know, the California Supreme Court has decided that same-sex marriages will proceed, consistent with its ruling and the State Constitution.

In trying to convince the court to postpone the marriages until after a vote in November, the Opponents of Equality, specifically the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Campaign for California Families, claimed that “legal chaos” would result if marriage licenses were issued for six months and then blocked by a constitutional amendment. They might be right.

Well, the marriages are proceeding, and they are at risk of being overturned. If the Opponents of Equality truly want to avoid a nightmare scenario of national “legal chaos,” then it is their turn to give a little.

I think it would be sportsman-like and morally right for the Opponents of Equality to end their war against their neighbors and friends by taking the $10 million earmarked for divisive hate politics and contribute it towards healing the sick or feeding the poor. Or perhaps they could focus on the parental notification initiative that might bring a surprising number of allies from the lesbian and gay community.

Governor, please tell the Opponents of Equality – and your Republican colleagues – that fighting against the law of the land, and against California’s families, is unacceptable. Please ask them to end their support of the Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage.

Sincerely,

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May 15th, 2008

Today’s letter – you have been terminated!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today was a great day. The State Supreme Court overruled you to say that same-sex couples must be given the “respect and dignity” of marriage because the constitutional protections for race and gender also apply to sexual orientation.

The Los Angeles Times quoted me saying “I think this is the beginning of the end of ostracism, bullying, and all the things that used to make people feel less human than others.”

The Los Angeles Times also quoted you – in the paragraph after me, ha ha – saying that you “will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.” Thank you for that. Thank you thank you thank you. But it is a little late for you to be surrendering your authority over my relationships, after that authority was removed.

Because of the Domestic Partnership legislation that you signed and the Federal “Defense of Marriage Act,” my family is honestly not directly affected by this decision at a legal level. But people don’t get married for the rights: they get married for the social acceptance. This decision – and your support of it – sends the clear message that ALL California couples are welcome to commit to marriage and fully participate in our economy and our society.

The real victory is not for us, it is for every struggling teen who thinks they are different, by bringing them the comfort that there is a way to live their life without celibacy or suicide, and their government – and Governor – will support them.

Today was a great day because the State Supreme Court said “freedom means freedom for EVERYBODY,” and my Governor will (finally) fight to make sure that happens.

No longer Yours,

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May 8th, 2008

Today’s letter – Michigan shows what marriage bans _really_ do

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I wanted to explain to you why the stakes are so high for this November’s ballot initiative limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

Michigan’s State Supreme Court ruled yesterday 5-2 that their 2004 ballot initiative to limit marriage also included “similar unions” and stripped at least 375 gay couples at public universities, community colleges, school districts and local governments of their benefits. It doesn’t’ take a crystal ball to realize that as soon as the Limit on Marriage passes, the Opponents of Equality will be gunning to unwind domestic partnerships too.

Because of the Domestic Partnership legislation that you signed in 2000, I have been able to make a pretty good life here in California, marry my husband and have two kids through surrogacy. I have been able to contribute back to the economy and society through taxes and tithing. But the Limit on Marriage proposition threatens to take all that away.

Your reaction to the initiative that would wreck my life has been merely neutral. I know that there are a lot of other things that are important these days, but could you amp it up a bit? A few words in opposition to the people in your administration, government and political party who are dedicated to eliminating same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption would do wonders. You need only to remind them of the golden rule – and why limiting marriage is a truly bad proposition.

Yours,

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April 24th, 2008

Today’s letter – A bad proposition

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today the Opponents of Equality are announcing that their proposed Constitutional Amendment to limit marriage will be on the ballot in November.

As a gay dad, I think limiting access to marriage is a bad proposition. It teaches our children who are straight that it is OK to bully people who are different, and it teaches our children who are gay there is no alternative but celibacy or suicide. It prevents parents who are gay from fully participating in our economy, and places a greater economic burden on families who are not gay.

Most of all, it deprives individuals of making the most important choice they can make as human beings: if and whom to marry.

This initiative is not about “protecting marriage.” It is about taking an entire group of people and telling them they are less worthy and less capable of choosing how they live their own lives. It is not about “protecting the children” but about changing their Constitution to punish our differences instead of celebrating them. We would not like somebody to do that to us, and we should not do it to others. Any and all ways that you slice it, this is a bad proposition. Thank you for opposing it.

Yours,

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February 10th, 2008

Today’s letter – get us off this four-year see-saw

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

My fiancée and I are trapped in the California legal system. In early 2004, we got married; in late 2004, our marriage was annulled. In 2005 a trial judge said we could get married; in 2006 an appeals court said we couldn’t. Now finally in 2008 the State Supreme Court will hear and judge on whether our Constitution lets a mere eight-year-old voter initiative carve out a whole group of people and specially remove their freedom to marry.

I don’t understand why it takes four years to figure out if a voter initiative beats out the State Constitution. It seems to me this should be pretty clear. In the meantime, the Opponents of Equality have been trying again and again to pass a Constitutional Amendment to permanently exclude me and my fiancée from our economy and society.

Governor, help us get us off this see-saw! As a defendant in this case, please tell the California Supreme Court that all Californians need the freedom to marry, and they need it NOW. My husband and I are tired of waiting.

Yours,

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January 27th, 2008

Today’s letter – an open letter asking for your help

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Equality California and the Let California Ring campaign are collecting signatures on an open letter asking you to address the California Supreme Court during oral arguments on the constitutionality of gay marriage this Spring.

As a defendant in the matter, and a proponent of “the dignity of every Californian,” you have an opportunity to speak directly to the judges about the expensive folly of excluding same-sex couples from participation in the economy and society.

If you were truly handcuffed into vetoing AB 43, a bill brought to you by the people through their elected representatives, now is your chance to make things right.

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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January 22nd, 2008

Today’s letter – Upholding the Constitution is not optional

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When you vetoed AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you said that you couldn’t sign it because it would have been illegal and you would have gone to jail.

I believe you committed a more criminal act by failing to uphold the Constitution to which you swore allegiance. The Constitution, as you know, says that you are not supposed to pick out a whole group of people because of what they believe or how they were born, and force them to follow a different set of laws than everybody else.

You should have signed AB 43 because it was the right thing to do, and if you went to prison for following your Constitution obligation to protect Californians from discrimination for their religion, gender or sexual orientation, that too would be the right thing to do.

Martin Luther King Jr. explains:

“I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: – ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

It is too late for you to sign AB 43, but it is not too late for you to end your silence and protect the Constitution by saying everybody deserves the same freedom to marry.

Yours,

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