Today’s letter – we need it either way

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When you vetoed AB 849, the 2005 version of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you concluded “If the ban of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, this bill is not necessary. If the ban is constitutional, this bill is ineffective.”

With AB 43, the exact opposite is true. If the ban on same-sex couples from marriage is found to be unconstitutional, a bill like AB 43 would be necessary for marriages to commence. If the special ban is constitutional, this bill would be effective at changing a different part of the Family Code than the one currently being examined by the court.

The people will ultimately decide, and AB 43 is the prescription for doing that: a necessary and effective law that would end the ban preventing religious institutions from freely practicing their beliefs and stop the special exclusion of same-sex couples from choosing marriage. I wish you would sign this prescription for the health, safety and security of all California’s families.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Consider your counsel before you consider a veto

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When you vetoed AB 849, the 2005 version of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you said you “do not believe the Legislature can reverse an initiative approved by the people of California” on the advice of your Attorney General, Bill Lockyer.

I don’t know why this was relevant to AB 849. The bill would not have “reversed an initiative” but rather changed a 1977 law signed by your current Attorney General, Edmund “Jerry” Brown.

I am worried that your Attorney General’s office is biased against the freedom to marry. To defend the state’s position, the office wrote “the words ‘marry’ and ‘marriage’ have no essential significance under the California Constitution,” and that there are no differences between California’s registered domestic partners and married couples under state law.

If there are no differences, why does a different section of the Family Code apply to my family and yours? If there are no differences, why are they – and you – opposed to merging them through AB 43? The fact is that same-sex couples have been carved out for special denial of the basic security of marriage that everybody else – including you and your Attorney General – so blithely enjoy, because of a law that your Attorney General signed!

The lesbian and gay communities have joined with the religious communities to ask for the freedom to marry as they choose, while your Attorney General’s office is siding with the Opponents of Equality to defend a bad law from 1977 by mischaracterizing it as a voter initiative.

It is offensive to my sense of justice to have the Attorney General working harder for your personal protection than for the people of this state. Please sign AB 43 so we can get the Attorney General out of the business of deciding who should – and should not – have the freedom to marry.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – freedom to marry is the Christian thing to do

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As a Christian, I believe that all couples should be able to get married, and that my Church should have the freedom to perform the ceremonies that it believes in.

Unfortunately, California’s ban on gay marriage, installed by the legislature in 1977, blocks same-sex couples from getting married and churches from marrying them.

Jesus was silent on the issue of homosexuality, but he was crystal clear on the sin of judgment. As Luke described in last Sunday’s gospel, “29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” (Luke 13:22-30).

AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, would end government-sanctioned judgment and let committed gay couples get married just like everybody else.

We can disagree about God’s opinion of homosexuality, but we must agree on the right to follow God in our own ways. Please sign AB 43 and give us freedom instead of legislated salvation.

Yours in Christ,

Today’s letter – The Party of Lincoln should support freedom to marry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

As a Republican, I believe all Californians deserve the freedom to marry.

We can’t focus on free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering taxes and strengthening the military when we have people preaching salvation through legislation and denying freedoms to get there. It always backfires and undermines the party.

Abraham Lincoln anticipated this when he said

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

California’s lesbian and gay couples have struggled and overcome the stigma of predatory stereotyping our party has wrongfully promulgated. They have built their families from love like everybody else. Our party shouldn’t be standing in the way of their freedom to marry.

Please sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, and give the freedom to others that we all so desperately deserve.

Sincerely,

Letter to Senator Jack Scott – thank you and please talk to your colleagues

Senator Jack Scott
State Capitol
Room 2082
Sacramento, CA 94248-0001

Dear Senator Scott –

Like you, I’m a parent and a taxpayer in California, and I believe that all California couples deserve the freedom to be married.

The Senate is shortly going to consider AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. I know that you support this bill, but I’m writing to you as your constituent to thank you for your support and ask you to get your colleagues to support it as well.

The Governor has said that he will veto this bill. Because this issue is so important to me and my family, I have been writing a letter to him every day since July 12 to ask him to sign it instead.

I have enclosed a couple of my favorite letters, but they are all posted on my Web site, http://signab43.blogspot.com. Could you please talk to your colleagues about this and ask them to read some of my letters?

Freedom is an issue that spans party lines, and this bill will not only provide our same-sex couples the freedom to marry, it will also let the Churches that support them to perform the ceremony. The California Legislature and Jerry Brown changed the law to exclude lesbian and gay families in 1977; the legislature and Arnold Schwarzenegger can reverse it in 2007.

If you can think of anything I can do to help you advance this issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks,

Letter to First Lady Maria Shriver – help us get the freedom to marry

Dear Maria Shriver –

Like you, I am a busy Californian. I see no less than eleven worthy projects on your Web site. I was wondering if you could join me in just one more: bringing the freedom to marry to all Californians?

The California Legislature changed the law to exclude lesbian and gay families in 1977, and Governor Jerry Brown signed it. Since then these families have struggled against the stigma that law has put on them, and have overcoming with such milestones as the domestic partnership legislation that your husband brought into law.

Domestic Partnership doesn’t provide the same security of marriage, though, which is why I believe that California would be better for kids and parents if these couples can get married just like everybody else.

Here is where you can help. I have written to your husband every day since July 12 to ask him to sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. This simple bill reverses the law that Jerry Brown signed without touching the Proposition 22 language, and it gives the many Churches that believe same-sex couples deserve marriage the freedom to perform the ceremony. Although I have written many times, I have only received two form letters in reply. I’m pretty sure that messages from me and people like me are not making their way to the Governor.

I have enclosed a couple of my favorite letters, but they are all posted on my Web site, http://signab43.blogspot.com. Could you please talk to your husband about this and ask him to read some of my letters as he considers his actions on AB 43?

Many thanks,

Today’s letter – teasing my kids

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As the father of two six-month old children, I believe my partner and I should have the freedom to marry.

Our kids have two dads, and like all kids they will be teased about something. Letting same-sex couples get married just like everybody else means they will have one less thing to be teased about. They won’t have any idea how much social stigma we had to overcome to bring them to school, because having two parents who are married is no big deal.

As a fellow parent (who happens to be governor), you can make it happen: please sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, and let me and my California Registered Domestic Partner get married, just like everybody else.

Many thanks,

Today’s letter – Thank you for being a friend

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Thank you for being so supportive of California’s many lesbian and gay families, from signing our historic domestic partnership legislation to leaving $300,000 in this year’s budget for LGBT victims of domestic violence.

I wish your support of our community would go just one step further, the final step to marriage equality. You have the authority to reverse Jerry Brown’s 1977 change that banned gay marriage in California, without affecting the state rights proposition passed by voters in 2000. You have the opportunity to give freedom of religion and civil marriage protection to many thousands of families. You can continue to be a great friend to all of us who just want to be the best parents they can. Just sign AB 43 and support full and equal access to marriage for all Californians.

Your friend,

Today’s letter – Eight Domestic Partnership Laws or One Marriage Bill

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

My California Registered Domestic Partner and I are raising our two kids here in Los Angeles. There are currently nine bills moving through the legislature that will make my family’s life better. Five of them will make California a safer place for our children, and three of them are enhancements to California’s Domestic Partnership laws that you have so wonderfully supported. But only one of them will provide us with the respect, dignity and freedom that all Californians should enjoy.

SB 105 would simplify my state taxes so we can file them as easily as straight couples. SB 559 would fix my property value that was reassessed when we moved it into our family trust. AB 102 lets us change our family name like couples do when they get married.

But AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, would make those three laws and many others unnecessary by simply ending the legislature-imposed ban on same-sex marriage.

I don’t understand why your support for families like mine ends short of supporting marriage. California deserves to have one set of rules for everybody. Please sign AB 43 and end this parade of separate laws.

Hopefully,

Today’s letter – Congratulations on the Budget

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I was glad to hear that you have a budget on your desk so soon. While you were busy cutting programs – including your own – to balance it, I found $40 million: just sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

We will save $24 Million each year by closing access to means-tested public benefits. That means somebody who stays home with the kids won’t be able to collect food stamps while their “legal domestic partner” makes a six-figure salary. (The study was co-authored by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law and IGLSS.)

As a taxpayer, I would also enjoy the $16 Billion windfall in tourism and commerce that Forbes predicts.

The legislature installed the ban on same-sex marriage in 1977, and the legislature can remove it now. It will not harm one person and bring dignity to so many. And it will help our economy. Isn’t that what being a Republican is all about?

Yours,